Sentencing Guidelines - Offences
Murder x 2 – whether reduction in tariffs for guilty plea appropriate –guidance given on range of appropriate discount and approach to be taken by sentencers.
Reference by DPP under s.36 Criminal Justice Act 1988 (as amended) – gross negligence manslaughter – various breaches of health & safety at work (‘H&S’) provisions – deceased falling from roof of agricultural shed – 15 months’ imprisonment suspended for 3 years – whether suspended sentence unduly lenient – immediate sentence of 24 months (12 & 12) substituted for manslaughter and concurrent sentence of 6 months for each H&S offence.
Appeal against sentence – rape contrary to Article 5(1) of the Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2008 – common assault contrary to s. 47 OAPA 1861 – whether sentence for rape (ECS – 9 years in custody plus 2 on licence) manifestly excessive and/or wrong in principle – whether judge justified in concluding that there was significant risk of serious harm etcetera – Kubik applied – contesting the prosecution not an aggravating factor – Gilbert distinguished on the facts – appeal allowed – ECS of 7 plus 2 substituted.
Application to extend time for leave to appeal sentence – murder – 20 year tariff – Plus: 1. attempted murder; 2. possession of shotgun; and, 3. handgun both with intent to endanger life – discretionary life sentences with concurrent tariffs of 20 years’ imprisonment for each offence. Planned professional killing – McCandless reaffirmed – extension of time refused on murder count and tariff on mandatory life sentence left undisturbed – tariffs of 10, 8 & 8 years’ imprisonment respectively substituted in the remaining offences extension of time and leave having been granted on those counts.
Reference by DPP under s. 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 - causing death by dangerous driving plus dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen, failing to stop and failing to remain contrary to the Road Traffic (NI) Order 1995 - 7 year sentence (3 1/2 in custody and 3 1/2 on licence) - whether starting point too low - whether consecutive sentences required - whether too great a discount for plea - whether mitigation too generous - reaffirmation that all aggravating and mitigating factors to be considered first in arriving at starting point before giving discount for plea - personal mitigation less relevant in deterrent sentence - allowing for double jeopardy sentence of 9 years (4 1/2 plus 4 1/2) substituted.