DPP v Conroy

 
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[2014] IECA 13

THE COURT OF APPEAL

Birmingham, J.

Sheehan, J.

Mahon, J.

Appeal Number: 223/13
DPP v Conroy
The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
-v-
Matthew Conroy
Appellant

223/2013 - Birmingham Sheehan Mahon - Court of Appeal - 12/12/2014 - 2014 14 3787 2014 IECA 13

NO CITATIONS IN THIS JUDGMENT

Sentencing – Consecutive sentences – Severity of sentence – Appellant seeking to appeal against the severity of sentences – Whether the direction of concurrent sentences was an error of principle

Judgment of the Court
Mr. Justice Mahon
1

This is an appeal against the severity of sentences imposed at Nenagh Circuit Criminal Court on 9th October 2013, totalling fifteen years in respect of five separate offences committed in quick succession on the night of 24th November 2012 in an area in and around Thurles, Co, Tipperary, and which resulted in a total actual sentence of seven years, with the last eighteen months suspended subject to conditions.

2

The five offences involved the breaking into the home of a Mr, Mannix, the taking of his car keys, the theft of his private car, the theft of a small sum of money from the car,. and the crashing of the car while being pursued by gardaí, and having, immediately prior to that pursuit, placed Garda Collins at grave personal risk as he, the appellant, attempted to manoeuvre the car in order to make good his escape.

3

The appellant's lifestyle in the period leading up to the evening in question was unusual and somewhat eccentric. He lived a generally isolated lifestyle, which included sleeping in the mountains. He is completely estranged from his family including his children. He is apparently well educated.

4

The appellant has an enormous number of previous convictions, numbering 90 in total, but none related to the burglary of dwelling houses or the stealing of cars. Most involved intoxication in some form or another. He had previously served short periods of times in prison. He was by all accounts an habitual offender, albeit at a relatively minor level. He does not appear to have been a man given to personal violence.

5

The sentences imposed by the learned trial judge involved one group of three concurrent prison sentences of three years, four years and three years in relation...

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