Sentencing Guidelines - General Sentencing Issues
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.
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.
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.
Convictions under s. 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883, and article 58(1) of the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 – whether forfeiture order in respect of motorbike lawful – title to the item subject to hire purchase in brother’s name - nemo dat quod non habet – order quashed.
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.