Sentencing Guidelines - Guilty Pleas
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.
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
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.
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.
Bernard Philip Mary Rooney, Denis Michael Dorrian, Gerard Martin Paul Irvine, Seamus Patrick Cunningham and Sean Martin Joseph Doran. Attorney General's Reference (No. 1 of 2005) (AG Ref 6-10 of 2005)
This is the guideline judgment which authoritatively lays down correct procedure to be followed in this jurisdiction when a sentencing indication is sought by a defendant.
Death of constable struck by car attempting to avoid police stinger device after a chase. Aggravation and mitigation - effect of lack of intention. 12 year sentence not unreasonable - Also statement that there should be less discount for a plea of guilty caught red handed.
Dangerous driving and driving whilst disqualified - discount for guilty plea - when maximum sentence may be imposed on a guilty plea.
Custodial sentence - seriousness of offence - offence so serious that only custodial sentence can be justified - appellants pleading guilty to charge of burglary and sentenced to six months' imprisonment - whether custodial sentence appropriate.
Conspiracy to rob and false imprisonment - plan to rob sub post office appellants caught holding the family of sub post mistress hostage - deterrent sentences - discount for guilty plea under Article 33 of the Criminal Justice (NI) Order (1996).