Sentencing Guidelines - Offences

273 judgments

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
27 January 2017

R v James William Taggart

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.

[2017] NICA 5
Weir LJ
25 January 2017

R v Peter Greer

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.

[2017] NICA 4
Morgan LCJ
09 January 2017

R v David Lee Stewart, DPP Ref (No 1 of 2016)

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.

[2017] NICA 1
Morgan LCJ
14 December 2016

R v Mandy Louise O'Toole

Appeal against sentence - AOABH contrary to s. 47 OAPA 1861 - 4 year sentence (2 in custody and 2 on licence) - whether starting point excessive - whether route to sentence unconventional/at risk of double counting - whether sufficient discount for plea - whether sufficient weight given to indicators of positive change - whether failure to take adequate account of fact that offence could have been prosecuted summarily - Appeal allowed - appellant pregnant - 'significant factors' meant a 2 year probation order would be substituted.

[2016] NICA 59
Weir LJ
17 June 2016

R v Paul Mahoney

Appeal against 4 year Determinate Custodial Sentence, comprising 2 years custody and 2 years on licence - conspiracy to defraud - setting up and operation of websites which permitted the viewing of films in breach of copyright and the advertising revenue - sections 327(1)(a) and 329 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 - appeal dismissed - principles derived and applied from first instance sentencing remarks, the Court of Appeal (E&W) and Sentencing Guidelines Council.

[2016] NICA 27
Morgan LCJ
26 May 2016

R v Patricia McKeown

Appeal of part of sentence - causing grievous bodily injury by driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration - whether judge correct to impose three year disqualification - whether judge correct to impose extended driving test requirement - appeal allowed - disqualification period of 12 months substituted - requirement for extended driving test removed.

2016 NICA 24
Keegan J
12 April 2016

R v Alan McDonald

Appeal against sentence - historic sexual abuse - discretionary life sentence - whether necessary to make finding of unstable character - whether offences sufficiently grave - whether likely future offending must be sex offences - whether alternative protective sentence could be imposed - appeal dismissed.

[2016] NICA 21
Weatherup LJ
16 March 2016

R v Sean Ruddy

Possession of explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property contrary to s. 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883 - reiteration of principles governing guilty pleas – need for counsel to correct any misapprehension on court’s part as to timing of guilty plea –recourse to be had to the ‘slip rule’ under s. 49(2) of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 when appropriate – sentence left undisturbed.

[2016] NICA 17
McBride J
04 March 2016

R v John Paul Braniff

Offences of depositing, keep and treating controlled waste under Article 4 Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997 – aggravating factors correctly identified – starting point should first be identified by sentencers – 12 month determinate custodial sentence (6 & 6) substituted for the earlier 18 month sentence.

[2016] NICA 9
Morgan LCJ
29 January 2016

R v Lukaz Kubik

Rape contrary to Article 5(1) of the Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2008 – continued application of Sentencing Advisory Panel’s 2002 Guidelines – medical evidence of impact on victim must be such as to establish to a rigorous standard – extended custodial sentence of 9 years replaced with a determinate custodial sentence of 7 years - 3½ in custody and 3½ on licence.

[2016] NICA 3
Morgan LCJ
26 November 2015

R v MH

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.

2015 NICA 67
Weatherup LJ
05 November 2015

R v Brian Mongan

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.

2015 NICA 65
Morgan LCJ
21 September 2015

R v Raymond Brownlee (Sentencing)

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.

2015 NICA 58
Morgan LCJ
14 September 2015

R v Sean Hackett

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.

2015 NICA 57
Morgan LCJ
07 July 2015

R v Hughes, Hughes and Hughes. (DPP References 1,2,3 and 4 of 2015)

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.

2015 NICA 53
Morgan LCJ
30 June 2015


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.

2015 NICA 48
Treacy J