Director of Public Prosecutions -v- Wharrie, [2016] IECCA 3 (2016)

Docket Number:218/08
Party Name:Director of Public Prosecutions, Wharrie
 
FREE EXCERPT

THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL

[Appeal No. 2008/218 CCA]

MacMenamin J.

Moriarty J.

McGovern J.

BETWEEN:

THE PEOPLE (AT THE SUIT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS)

RESPONDENTAND

PERRY WHARRIE

APPLICANT

Judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeal delivered by MacMenamin J. on the 4th day of October, 2016

  1. Eight years ago, after a trial lasting 41 days in the Cork Circuit Court, the applicant, Perry Wharrie, was convicted of offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977. These offences were:

    (i) Simple possession of a controlled drug under s.3 of the Act of 1977, as amended;

    (ii) Possession of such a drug for the purposes of sale or supply, pursuant to s.15 of the Act of 1977, as amended;

    (iii) Possession for sale or supply of such a drug, the value of which exceeded €13,000, pursuant to s.15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977, as amended.

  2. Having been convicted, the applicant was sentenced to a lengthy term of 30 years imprisonment. He brought an appeal against the conviction to the Court of Criminal, and this Court (MacMenamin J., de Valera J., McGovern J.), which delivered judgment on that appeal, upholding the conviction, on the 19th April, 2013. Subsequently, a different panel of the Court (MacMenamin J., Moriarty J., Hunt J.) addressed the question of sentence, and the applicant’s original sentence of 30 years was reduced to an effective term of 22 years and 6 months, as a headline sentence, with a deduction of 5 years to reflect all mitigating factors.

  3. Arising from the judgment of 19th April, 2013, the applicant now seeks a certificate pursuant to s.29 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1924 (as amended), for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. He wishes to argue the following point of law:

    “Are the offences under s.15 and s.15A, respectively, of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977 (both being offences of possession of controlled drugs for sale or supply), subject to the restriction that the said offence(s) are not committed where the evidence in a case establishes that the controlled drugs in question were destined for sale or supply to persons in another jurisdiction, rather than to persons within the State itself?”

  4. It is necessary, first, to say something about the evidence adduced at the trial. The prosecution case was that the appellant was part of a large scale international drugs importation operation. The cocaine consignment was to be transferred from a yacht, the Lucky Day, by inflatable rib to the West Cork coast. A significant...

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