Sentencing Guidelines - Offences
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.
First instance sentencing remarks.
R v Robert McKeown, Edward Lynn and Stephen Ferris, Director of Public Prosecution’s References (numbers 13, 14 and 15 of 2013)
3 references by DPP – whether sentencing unduly lenient - convictions for riotous assembly contrary to common law - disturbances following decision about frequency of flying Union flag outside Belfast City Hall – first guideline case from NI Court of Appeal on riotous assembly – 2 references allowed.
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.
Indecent assault, gross indecency and buggery of female child by male sibling aged 13/14 - 4 1/2 year custody probation order (concurrent) reduced to 12 months' imprisonment.
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.
DPP reference from sentence of 18 months imprisonment suspended for 3 years, a fine of £50,000 and disqualification from driving for 5 years - causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving – whether sentence unduly lenient - limited but relevant criminal record consisting of road traffic offences – mitigating circumstances surrounding employment – reference allowed and sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment substituted.
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.
First instance sentencing remarks – guidance pending Court of Appeal deliberation – carrying dutiable goods with intent to defraud contrary to Section 170 of the Custom & Excise Management Act 1979 – consideration of relevant Sentencing Council (E&W) Guideline and categories.