Sentencing Guidelines - Violent Offences
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multiple counts of cruelty/neglect/assault on and gross indecency with the female offender’s children – necessity to protect children/deter those who might cause them injury – cases of repeated actions more serious than single incident – combination of consecutive/concurrent sentences – regard to totality principle which can be arrived at by different routes – no error in sentencing detected – appeal refused.
R v Todd Newton, Ruari Doey and Steven Doherty Director of Public Prosecution’s Reference (numbers 8, 9 & 10 of 2013)
Reference by DPP - attempted grievous bodily harm with intent – gratuitous violence by young males 2 of the 3 still children – s. 53 Justice (NI) Act 2002, Art. 45(2) Criminal Justice (Children) (NI) Order 1998 and Beijing Rules all considered - sentences substituted.
Common assault contrary to Section 47 of OAPA 1861 – domestic violence – 7 aggravating features – offence triable summarily – sentence to be in proportion to what magistrates’ court would have done – magistrates’ courts guidelines approved.
Common assault contrary to Section 47 of OAPA 1861 – modest level of physical violence – offence triable summarily – whether sentence out of all proportion to what the magistrate would have done.
R v Anthony Joseph McAuley and Paul Ronan Seaward, Director of Public Prosecution’s Reference (Numbers 2 and 3 of 2010)
Section 18 OAPA 1861 - infliction of wanton violence by young males - kicking victim while on the ground - consideration of recent Sentencing Council (E&W) Consultation.
Offender participating in concerted sectarian attack on group of young Roman Catholic men - one of the group left in low-level, probably vegetative state - reduced life expectancy - late plea - joint enterprise - CPO 12 years plus 1 (total: 13 years).
Offender one of three assailants - 'savage and unprovoked' attack on young man in Belfast City Centre - previous convictions showed 'propensity to random senseless violence' - victim suffering catastrophic injuries - CPO 14 years plus 1 (total: 15 years) on a contest.
First instance judgment - offender stabbing victim in course of argument - severe consequences for victim's long term physical and mental health - late plea to this and offences of intimidation of witnesses and threats to kill - CPO of 10 years plus 1 (total: 11years) (7.5 years for s. 18, 3.5 years consecutive for other offences).
-Causing grievous bodily harm with intent contrary to section 18 OAPA 1861 -Protective element under article 20 of the Criminal Justice (NI) Order 1996 -Previous good character and youth to be taken into account - Totality/proportionality
Indecent assault - AOABH - false imprisonment - Criminal Justice (NI) Order 1996 Art.20 (2)(b) - protective sentences for violent or sexual offence.
Attorney General's Reference (Number 1 of 2006), Gary McDonald, John Keith McDonald & Stephen Gary Maternaghan (AG ref 11-13 of 2005)
Guilty pleas - need to plead at earliest opportunity.
GBH and robbery (2 separate offences) - consecutive sentences - custody probation order.
s. 20 OAPA - neglect of a child/baby - suitability for probation.