Sentencing Guidelines - General Sentencing Issues

75 judgments

14 June 2017

The Queen v WL

Leave sought to appeal against (conviction and) sentence - indecent assault on female (x8) – rape (x8) – assaults accompanied by threats and violence – offender serving existing sentence for similar offences committed around same time – leave to appeal sentence on the ground of totality granted and appeal allowed – discretionary life tariff of 10 years replaced by one of 6 years

[2017] NICA 36
McBride J
14 December 2016

R v Mandy Louise O'Toole

Appeal against sentence - AOABH contrary to s. 47 OAPA 1861 - 4 year sentence (2 in custody and 2 on licence) - whether starting point excessive - whether route to sentence unconventional/at risk of double counting - whether sufficient discount for plea - whether sufficient weight given to indicators of positive change - whether failure to take adequate account of fact that offence could have been prosecuted summarily - Appeal allowed - appellant pregnant - 'significant factors' meant a 2 year probation order would be substituted.

[2016] NICA 59
Weir LJ
16 March 2016

R v Sean Ruddy

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.

[2016] NICA 17
McBride J
05 November 2015

R v Brian Mongan

Wounding with intent to commit GBH (ECS 9 plus 3) threats to kill (9 plus 1 concurrent) – both lower harm and lower culpability required for lower starting point in s.18 OAPA 1861 offence – McAuley and Seaward guideline clarified – however sentencing court’s starting point here of 11yrs. was too high in a case of low harm – 9 yr. custodial element reduced to 7 – dangerousness finding approved and 3 yr. extension left undisturbed.

2015 NICA 65
Morgan LCJ
21 September 2015

R v Raymond Brownlee (Sentencing)

Wounding with intent X2; common assault X2; and false imprisonment – domestic violence – culpability high but degree of harm low – ECS of 6 plus 4 for each wounding – court underlined need to identify domestic setting as aggravating feature – dangerousness considered – delay between conviction and sentence held to be breach of Article 6 but aggravation outweighed this – appeal refused.

2015 NICA 58
Morgan LCJ
14 September 2015

R v Sean Hackett

Manslaughter on ground of diminished responsibility and 2 X possession of a firearm with intent – planned killing of offender’s father – impaired judgement – assessed as presenting further risk of serious harm – whether life sentence necessary – whether ICS adequately considered – whether 10 yr. tariff appropriate – whether conclusion that responsibility was relatively high correct – fresh medical evidence received on appeal establishing lower culpability – ICS with specified period of 7 years substituted for manslaughter and two with specified period of 4 for firearms convictions.

2015 NICA 57
Morgan LCJ
30 June 2015

R V TH

Sexual Assault by penetration together with Common Assault, Criminal Damage and Possession of Class B Drug – digital penetration and further degradation of victim in her home accompanied by acts of violence and destruction. Total sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment plus 18 months on licence – appeal refused and sentence upheld – recent definitive Guideline from E&W considered – need for victim’s medical reports to be supported by notes and records underlined.

2015 NICA 48
Treacy J
22 May 2015

R v Donna McCool and Michael Harkin

False accounting contrary to s. 17(1)(a) Theft Act (NI) 1969 - false statements contrary to s. 105A(1) of the Social Security Administration (NI) Act 1992 – imposition of confiscation orders – whether court had jurisdiction order under POCA 2002 – whether amounts confiscated proportionate – Held that 2002 Act applied but amounts disproportionate and new amounts substituted.

2015 NICA 31
Morgan LCJ
27 March 2015

R v Connor Joseph Hamilton

Fraud by false representation – whether probation element of combination order wrong in principle – probation element quashed and guidance given on proper procedure.

2015 NICA 15
Girvan LJ
25 March 2015

R v Gerard McCormick

Sexual activity with a child – 3 year determinate sentence comprising 18 months’ imprisonment and 18 on licence – 5 year SOPO – Sentencing Court’s reliance on Sentencing Council Guidelines – guidance from decided authorities in NI more reliable than Council Guidelines - 2 year sentence substituted – 12 & 12 – whether SOPO proportionate – that issue remitted to trial court to reconsider.

2015 NICA 14
Morgan LCJ
21 January 2015

R v Gabriel Mackle

Convictions under s. 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883, and article 58(1) of the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 – whether forfeiture order in respect of motorbike lawful – title to the item subject to hire purchase in brother’s name - nemo dat quod non habet – order quashed.

2015 NICA 5
Girvan LJ
15 January 2015

R v Edward Cambridge

Robbery contrary to s. 8(1) Theft Act (NI) 1969 and AOABH contrary to s 47 of the Offences Against Person Act 1861 – whether finding of dangerousness justified – whether indeterminate custodial sentence justified – appeal allowed solely in respect of indeterminate sentence which is ‘a sentence of last resort’ – extended custodial sentence substituted.

2015 NICA 4
Gillen LJ
18 December 2014

R v Michael Simpson

Possession of indecent child images contrary to Article 3 of the Protection of Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 – SOPO made under s.104 Sexual Offences Act 2003 – whether SOPO terms oppressive/disproportionate.

[2014] NICA 83
Coghlin LJ
14 October 2014

R v Wootton & McConville

Reference under s. 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 – terrorist murder of police officer life imprisonment for adult offender – application of minimum tariff – 25 years not unduly lenient – detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure for youth offender – minimum term of 14 years unduly lenient – limited mitigation for youth in serious violent offence of this nature – tariff of 18 years substituted.

[2014] NICA 69
Morgan LCJ
12 September 2014

R v Thomas McCaughey and Martin Smyth

Burglary – attempted burglary – obstruction – limited relevance/applicability of Guidelines from Sentencing Guidelines Council in E&W – including cases of sexual offending.

[2014] NICA 61
Morgan LCJ
12 September 2014

R v Paul Pollins

Appeal against sentence – aggravated burglary and criminal damage – use of indeterminate custodial sentence – disposal of last resort – necessity of prior inquiry: can public protection be achieved under extended sentence scheme? – appeal allowed and extended sentence substituted.

[2014] NICA 62
Morgan LCJ
11 September 2014

R v Francis Newell

Armed robbery of post office - 4 year's imprisonment deemed manifestly inadequate and increased to 8 years' imprisonment - factors pertinent to an increase in sentence - was the sentence determined on a wrong principle or manifestly inadequate having regard to all circumstances and factors - section 15 Criminal Appeal Act (NI) 1968/section 4 Criminal Appeal Act (NI) 1980 [NB: This case, which is of significance to the Court of Appeal, is not reproduced here.]

[2014] NICA 87
Morgan LCJ
28 June 2013

R v Todd Newton, Ruari Doey and Steven Doherty Director of Public Prosecution’s Reference (numbers 8, 9 & 10 of 2013)

Reference by DPP - attempted grievous bodily harm with intent – gratuitous violence by young males 2 of the 3 still children – s. 53 Justice (NI) Act 2002, Art. 45(2) Criminal Justice (Children) (NI) Order 1998 and Beijing Rules all considered - sentences substituted.

[2013] NICA 38
Morgan LCJ
27 June 2013

R v Kevin Brannigan DPP's Ref (No.7 of 2013)

Causing GBI by careless driving – dangerous driving – perverting the course of justice – almost invariably requires immediate consecutive sentence – suspended sentences inappropriate in this case – sentencers need to consider whether exceptional circumstances exists in serious offending before suspending.

[2013] NICA 39
Morgan LCJ
17 May 2013

R v Gary McKeown; DPP Ref (No 2 of 2013) and R v Han Lin

Appeal against sentence and DPP's Reference - review of authorities on supply and production of drugs - consideration of definitive guideline from England & Wales - guideline deemed useful for aggravating and mitigating factors and serious/culpability - less applicable however in this jurisdiction on starting points and ranges where flexibility required - different approach needed for very large quantities - R v. McIlwaine [1998] NICA reaffirmed in this regard.

[2013] NICA 28
Morgan LCJ

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