Sentencing Guidelines - Firearms/Explosives Offences
Possession of explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property contrary to s. 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883 - reiteration of principles governing guilty pleas – need for counsel to correct any misapprehension on court’s part as to timing of guilty plea –recourse to be had to the ‘slip rule’ under s. 49(2) of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 when appropriate – sentence left undisturbed.
Making/possession of explosives – s. 3(1)(b) Explosive Substances Act 1883) – DPP’s Reference – sectarian motivation – 2 years’ probation and 100 hours’ community service – sentencing recommendation in victim impact statements not to form basis for reassessing sentencing – while deterrent custodial sentences normally required for sectarian violence the individual circumstances meant the sentence should not be interfered with.
R v Gareth Edward Marcus, DPP Ref (No 1 of 2013), Reference under Section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988
Possession of explosives – s. 3(1)(b) Explosive Substances Act 1883) – causing an explosion likely to endanger life or to cause injury to property – s.2 Explosive Substances Act 1883 – DPP’s Reference – sectarian motivation – need for deterrent sentencing – 4 years’ imprisonment suspended for 3 years – unduly lenient but not interfered with.
Appeal against 3 year sentence for 48 offences (incl. firearms offences) committed from 1992 to 2007 - member of loyalist paramilitary organisation - whether there should be discount for mitigating circumstances in applicant’s personal life - whether custodial sentences should have been suspended – appeal dismissed – specific guidance on the sentencing of defendants who have assisted the Police (ss. 73-76 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005) annexed to judgment.
Gary McDonald, John Keith McDonald and Stephen Gary Maternaghan, Attorney General's Reference (Number 1 of 2006) (AG REF 11-13 of 2005)
Guilty pleas - need to plead at earliest opportunity.
Possessing a weapon designed to discharge a noxious liquid gas or thing, contrary to Section 6(1)(b) of Firearms (NI) Order 1981 (as amended) - questions to ask when considering appropriate disposal of firearms offences - suspended sentence - R v. Avis and Others  1 Cr App R applied.
Firearms Offences - whether sentence is unduly lenient - double jeopardy.
Firearms (NI) Order 1981 - possession of firearms and ammunition in suspicious circumstances - burden of proving lawful object - sentence.