Sentencing Guidelines - Offences

269 judgments

07 October 2022

King v Shaun Hegarty

guidance in relation to sentencing for rape with aggravating features - appeal against sentence - whether sentence of 20 years plus five years extended term manifestly excessive - rape whilst unconscious – did not disclose previous convictions - grievous bodily harm - attempting to choke - previous rape - no remorse - blamed victim for her injuries – starting point – transparency – methodology of sentence – sentence beyond usual range and may be unprecedented in this jurisdiction – high culpability and high harm with myriad of aggravating factors – appropriate custodial term is one 18 years – no fault in 5 year extension period

[2022] NICA 55
Keegan LCJ
07 March 2022

Queen v Christopher Hughes

guidance in relation to sentencing in cases involving multiple incidents of domestic violence - Using motor vehicle without insurance, Assault occasioning actual bodily harm, Common assault, Attempted criminal damage, Possession of an offensive weapon - other convictions and caution for common assault against mother and partner - pending prosecutions in Republic of Ireland - consideration of aggravating and mitigating factors together to reach starting point prior to discount for plea - overall sentence imposed on appellant is not manifestly excessive

[2022] NICA 12
Keegan LCJ
12 March 2021

R v Luke Walls

DPP reference to the Court of Appeal for unduly lenient sentence – whether sentence unduly lenient – aggravated burglary and stealing, common assault and criminal damage – substantial criminal record - planned criminal enterprise - late pleas of guilty – sentence varied

[2021] NICA 19
McCloskey LJ
15 January 2021

Queen v Gerald O'Hara

Appeal against sentencing at re-trial – whether sentence manifestly excessive - Sexual Offences Prevention Order - indecent assault on children – sentences affirmed – SOPO discharged

[2021] NICA 1
McCloskey LJ
15 January 2021

Queen v Christine Connor

appeal against sentence and DPP’s Reference – terrorist offences – causing explosion and attempted murder – 20-year ECS with 4-year extension period – whether sentence manifestly excessive or unduly lenient – intent - sentencing of the trial judge unsustainably generous – substitution by a sentence of 25 years’ imprisonment accompanied by 4-year extension period

[2021] NICA 3
McCloskey LJ
05 May 2020

R v Allen

Common assault contrary to s. 47 OAPA 1861 & assault and false imprisonment contrary to common law – guidance on the sentencing approach to violent offences when particularly in a domestic violence where strangulation (‘ a substantial aggravating factor’) is a feature.

[2020] NICA 25
Stephens LJ
17 April 2020

R v Haggarty

Sentencing for multiple terrorist offences, including murder and attempted murder – guilty pleas – offender assisting police pursuant to ss. 73-75 SOCPA 2005 – whether discount appropriate – guidance given on the approach to be taken to ‘the SOCPA discount’.

[2020] NICA 22
Morgan LCJ
12 March 2020

R v Byrne & Cash

Sexual Assaults contrary to Art 6 Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2008 – whether ECOs a suitable disposal.

[2020] NICA 16
Morgan LCJ
17 February 2020

R v Coleman

First instance sentencing remarks - one of fourteen cases heard together - interim guidance under LCJ’s ‘Programme for Action on Sentencing’ - the approach to sentencing in so-called ‘money mule’ fraud cases.

[2020] NICC 5
His Honour Judge McFarland
06 December 2019

Queen v Daniel Raymond Dunlop

appeal against sentence - supply of a Class A and Class B drugs (cocaine) contrary to section 4(3)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 - substantial criminal record of 61 previous convictions, three relate to possession of drugs (cannabis) - delay - approach adopted and weight accorded by the sentencing judge to the factor of the appellant’s rehabilitation were erroneous in law - appeal allowed

[2019] NICA72
McCloskey LJ
04 September 2019


Whether failure to activate two previous suspended sentences and to impose a third suspended sentence unduly lenient – sexual offences - 85 year old man - numerous sexual offences involving children – sentence quashed and the two previous suspended sentences activated and pass a sentence so as to achieve an effective total determinate custodial sentence of 3 years

[2019] NICA 42
Keegan J, Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ
31 May 2019


Whether sentence unduly lenient - multiple offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery committed on three children - offender an elderly man of 91 years - monk at Portglenone Abbey – sentences unduly lenient – sentences amended.

Neutral Citation No: [2019] NICA 26
McBride J, Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ
16 May 2019

R v QD Director of Public Prosecution's Reference (Number 6 of 2019)

Reference by DPP NI under S. 36 Criminal Justice Act 1988 as amended by S. 41(5) Justice (NI) Act 2002 – whether sentence of 5 months’ custody unduly lenient - sexual assault of a child under 13 contrary to Article 14 of the Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2008 – whether failure to impose a SOPO unduly lenient – sentence quashed and SOPO imposed.

[2019] NICA 23
Stephens LJ
08 March 2019

Summary of Judgment - Court increases sentence on appeal - R v Michael Loughlin

Summary of Judgment - Court increases sentence on appeal - R v Michael Loughlin
Morgan LCJ
08 March 2019

R v Loughlin (Michael) (DPP Reference No 5 2018)

Reference by DPP under s. 36 Criminal Justice Act 1988 – whether sentence for attempted murder unduly lenient - appropriate sentencing range for offence of attempted murder - adherence to statutory test in considering imposition of suspended sentences - need for care in assessment of dangerousness - original sentence unduly lenient and substituted – appeal allowed.

[2019] NICA 10
Morgan LCJ
17 January 2019


appeal from part of sentence which disqualified appellant from driving for period of 4 years - causing grievous bodily injury by driving carelessly when unfit to drive through drink or drugs and driving while unfit through drink or drugs - whether length of disqualification wrong in principle, manifestly excessive and failed to take into account appellant’s reliance on ability to drive to return to employment – appeal allowed

[2019] NICA 28
Huddleston J, Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ
20 December 2018

R v CZ

Sexual offence prevention orders - applications made to Crown Court in respect of variations, renewals and discharge, and appeals thereafter to the Court of Appeal - demarcation between appeals in respect of SOPOs imposed as part of sentence and appeals in respect of variations, renewals and discharges - need for SOPO's to be carefully formulated

[2018] NICA 53
Maguire J
12 January 2018

R v Fegan (Darren)

appeal against determinate sentence of 13½ years with extended licence period of 3 years – s. 18 GBH with intent to a 2 year old child – violent punch to head – significant brain injury and right-sided hemiplegia – wheelchair bound and visually impaired – sentence not manifestly excessive – appeal dismissed – McAuley and Seaward distinguished – court underlined vulnerability of very young children

[2018] NICA 2
Morgan LCJ
19 September 2017

Regina v Turner (William) & Turner (James Henry)

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.

[2017] NICA 52
Morgan LCJ
18 May 2017

R v Norman McKenzie

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.

[2017] NICA 29
Gillen LJ