Sentencing Guidelines - General Sentencing Issues
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.
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.
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  NICA reaffirmed in this regard.
Queen v Gary McKeown, Director of Public Prosecution’s Reference (Number 2 of 2013), The Queen v Han Lin
Money laundering offences, forgery, VAT fraud, mortgage fraud and deception - bank accounts in Isle of Man and NI - false identification and documents - whether confiscation order should have included accounts in own name or in fictional names - whether fruits of the accounts not enjoyed - most of monies going to others involved in the criminal enterprise.
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.
Appeal against indeterminate custodial sentence with minimum term of five years imprisonment - explosives offence - whether dangerousness provisions of Criminal Justice (NI) Order 2008 applied - whether correct to impose indeterminate custodial sentence rather than extended custodial sentence – appeal dismissed.
This is not a judgment but a summary of the judgment highlighting the sentencing guidance aspect of it. A link to the judgment is provided within the document. Application for leave to appeal against Confiscation Orders and imprisonment - controlled waste kept in manner likely to cause pollution of environment or harm to human health and in or on land otherwise than under or in accordance with a Waste Management Licence - landfill tax - McKenna imprisonment appeal allowed and three years substituted for five - appeals by Allinghams and McKenna against confiscation orders in respect of benefit and evasion of tax dismissed - prosecution appeal allowed and confiscation order varied upward.
Causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving – need for sentencing court to establish factual basis of plea – proper approach to use of Guidelines – culpability rarely judged by consequence being serious injury rather than death.
Common assault contrary to Section 47 of OAPA 1861 – domestic violence – 7 aggravating features – offence triable summarily – sentence to be in proportion to what magistrates’ court would have done – magistrates’ courts guidelines approved.
Assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm – extended custodial sentence – whether sentence manifestly excessive – test for dangerousness under Article 15 of 2008 Order not met.
Common assault contrary to Section 47 of OAPA 1861 – modest level of physical violence – offence triable summarily – whether sentence out of all proportion to what the magistrate would have done.
R v Aidan Grew and Hilary Patrick McLaughlin and R v Patrick Mackle, Plunkett Mackle and Benedict Mackle
Fraudulent evasion of duty contrary to section 170(2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 - cigarette smuggling operations - whether trial judges erred in imposing confiscation order – appropriateness of custodial sentences for these offences.
Sexual assaults - Criminal Justice (NI) Order 2008 - assessment of dangerousness - English case of Lang adopted - whether sentencers may depart from PSR in assessing dangerousness - extended custodial sentence.
Credit to be given for period of foreign detention relating to subject crime.
Appeal against sentences - minors - indecent assaults, acts of gross indecency and rape - custodial sentence - other methods of disposal especially a custody probation order - ECHR Art. 8 - sexual offences prevention order expiry date - periods of detention and one year's supervision - third and fourth conditions of the sexual offences prevention order to be deleted - second condition amended in the terms set out in this judgment - sexual offences prevention order to remain in force for the period of five years from today's date - to that extent appeal allowed.
How sentencers should approach the issue of custody probation.
Offender one of three assailants - 'savage and unprovoked' attack on young man in Belfast City Centre - previous convictions showed 'propensity to random senseless violence' - victim suffering catastrophic injuries - CPO 14 years plus 1 (total: 15 years) on a contest.
Rape, Buggery, Totality
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.