Sentencing Guidelines - Offences
Appeal against sentence – rape contrary to Article 5(1) of the Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2008 (19 years’ imprisonment) and attempted rape (15 years) plus 46 other counts (9 counts of gross indecency 2 years’ imprisonment, 9 of common assault 12 months, 8 of false imprisonment 9 years, 4 of threats to kill 9 years, 7 of indecent assault 9 years and 9 of cruelty to children 7 years all concurrent – whether sentence wrong in principle/manifestly excessive having regard to the Sentencing Council Guidelines and NI Guidelines – whether there had been inadequate deduction because of delay - whether there had been a failure to have regard to the absence of offending from 2004 – McCaughey and Smith approach to Sentencing Council Guidelines reaffirmed and appeal dismissed.
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.
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.
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.
DPP reference – Possession of class A/B drugs with intent to supply – significant quantities of class A with high value – 3 defendants – determinate sentences of 5 yrs., 4 yrs., and 3 yrs. (6 custody plus 2½ on licence) – unduly lenient – substituted with 6½ yrs., 5 yrs., and 2yrs. (12 month plus 12 months) – earlier NI guidelines affirmed.
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.
AOABH contrary to s. 47 OAPA 1861 and common assault (co-def. aiding and abetting) – shaving victim’s hair and eyebrows while she was in alcohol induced stupor – done over two nights – striking her on the face – filming/photographing the offending – 5 year ECS manifestly excessive and replaced with determinate 4 year sentence.
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.
Fraud by false representation – whether probation element of combination order wrong in principle – probation element quashed and guidance given on proper procedure.
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.
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.