Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Would-be Foreign Fighter jailed for seven years

Date of Publication: 
3 May 2019

On 3 May 2019, 34 year old Robert Cerantonio was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. The sentence was handed down after he pleaded guilty to preparing to sail a fishing boat from Cape York in North Queensland, with the intention of entering the southern Philippines, where he intended to encourage others to violently overthrow the government.

Between 6–10 May 2016, Mr Cerantonio and four of his co-defendants set off together from Melbourne for the Cape York Peninsula in a vehicle they had bought, towing a seven-metre fishing boat. Their partners were to travel separately to the Philippines.

The Australian Federal Police had been watching the men for a considerable period and arrested them outside Cairns.

Mr Cerantonio’s sentencing brings to an end a number of successful prosecutions arising from this police investigation. His five co-defendants were each sentenced in February 2019 on a single charge of preparing to engage in hostile activities contrary to s119.491 of the Criminal Code:

  • Paul Dacre, Antonino Granata and Kadir Kaya were each sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years.
  • Murat Kaya was sentenced to three years and eight months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years and nine months.
  • Shayden Thorne was sentenced to three years and 10 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years, 10-and-a-half months.

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Summary of charge:

  • One count of engaging in conduct in preparation for incursions into foreign countries for the purpose of engaging in hostile activity contrary to section 119.4(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

CDPP Media contact: media@cdpp.gov.au or 02 6206 5708.

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