DPP v D (L)


[2014] IECA 53


Birmingham J.

Irvine J.

Edwards J.

Appeal Number: 41/2014
DPP v D (L)
The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
- v -

41/2014 - Birmingham Irvine Edwards - Court of Appeal - 17/12/2014 - 2014 14 3885 2014 IECA 53

DPP v M (J) 2002 1 IR 363 2002/10/2259

Appeal – Sentence Severity – Sexual Offences – Mitigating Factors – Health –Practice and Procedures

Mr. Justice Edwards

This is an appeal against the severity of certain sentences imposed on the appellant in this case by the Central Criminal Court following his conviction by a jury on the 12th December 2013 upon a indictment charging him with thirty counts of sexual offences.


Nineteen of those thirty counts consisted of thirteen rapes and six indecent assaults perpetrated between 1975 and 1991 upon a victim, WX, who was born on a date in 1968. The remaining eleven offences were all rapes that occurred between 1978 and 1988 and involved a second victim, YZ, who was born on a date in 1973.


The appellant is the father of both victims.


The trial judge imposed sentences of fifteen years on each of the rape counts, which involve both victims, with the last three years suspended in each case for a period of three years; and sentences of three years on each of the six counts of indecent assault, which relate solely to the victim YZ. All sentences were to run concurrently from the 12th of December 2013.


The appeal is against severity of sentencing. No complaint is made concerning where the trial judge placed the offending conduct on the range of potential penalties that might be imposed by the court. In the case of the rape offences specifically, which constituted the overwhelming majority of the relevant offences, the appellant does not complain about the trial judge taking a fifteen year sentence as his starting point. Rather, he complains that the trial judge failed to give adequate consideration to 1) the age of the appellant and 2) the state of health of the appellant as mitigating factors, and that he failed to give a sufficient discount from the headline sentence of fifteen years by way of mitigation.


In support of this contention significant reliance has been placed on certain jurisprudence, to which this Court has been referred, relating to how a sentencing court should treat an appellant in advanced age or in frail health, or a combination of both. In particular, the appellant relies on the judgment in the case of theDirector of Public Prosecutions v. JM [2002] 1 I.R.363 with which this court is familiar and in respect of which it is unnecessary to set forth the details.



To continue reading