DPP v Duffy

JurisdictionIreland
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
JudgeMr. Justice Birmingham
Judgment Date25 Oct 2016
Neutral Citation[2016] IECA 331
Docket Number123/14

[2016] IECA 331

THE COURT OF APPEAL

Birmingham J.

Birmingham J.

Sheehan J.

Mahon J.

123/14

The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Respondent
V
Jonathan Duffy
Appellant

Sentencing– Robbery– Severity of sentence– Appellant seeking to appeal against sentence– Whether sentence was unduly severe

Facts: The appellant, Mr Duffy, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in respect of a robbery offence and also in respect of an unlawful seizure of a vehicle offence. The appellant was also sentenced to six years imprisonment in respect of possession of an imitation firearm and an attempted unlawful seizure of another vehicle. All sentences were concurrent and all were backdated to the 1st September 2013. The sentences were imposed on the 26th May, 2014, in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. The appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal against severity of sentence. The appellant argued that the judge in May 2014 lost sight of the fact that the desire for reform and rehabilitation on the part of the appellant which had been a feature just some months earlier, was still live.

Held by Birmingham J that the court can intervene only when an error in principle is identified where the approach taken falls outside the permissible range. In this case Birmingham J noted that the offence in question was a very serious one and was committed by an offender with a very significant and directly relevant prior record. In the circumstances the Court was unable to identify any error in principle.

Birmingham J held that the Court must dismiss the appeal.

Appeal dismissed.

JUDGMENT of the Court (ex tempore) delivered on the 25th day of October 2016 by Mr. Justice Birmingham
1

This is an appeal against severity of sentence.

2

The sentences appealed are those of seven years imprisonment in respect of a robbery offence and also in respect of an unlawful seizure of a vehicle offence and sentences of six years imprisonment in respect of possession of an imitation firearm and an attempted unlawful seizure of another vehicle. All sentences were concurrent and all were backdated to the 1st September 2013. The sentences that are appealed today were imposed on the 26th May, 2014, in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

3

The background facts are that a robbery occurred in Blackrock post office in the Frascatti Shopping Centre on the afternoon of the 16th April, 2013. On that occasion a male entered the premises with what appeared to be a firearm. There was a female customer in a queue at the counter and he placed his arm around her neck and chin. He had what appeared to be a gun in his right hand. The gun was waved around. He demanded money and the individual who was being held was released when money was put on the counter by the post office employee, approximately €3,000 in €20 notes. The appellant stuffed these into a holdall bag and fled. The robber then made an attempt to stops cars on fleeing. The gardaí were alerted by the staff in the post office who pressed a panic button and they made their way at speed to the post office. However, as a result of information from a bystander, attention switched towards a particular Dublin bus. The gardaí went to that bus and there was a commotion taking place behind the bus where there was a woman screaming, in the aftermath of an unlawful seizure of a vehicle.

4

In relation to this aspect of the incident, a female driver was in traffic and she became conscious of a man being chased by security personnel, she may have recognised one of those from the shopping centre. The man being chased came to the passenger door of her car, got in and told her to drive off. She did drive on a little way, but because of traffic made little...

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2 cases
  • DPP v Sweeney
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 21 February 2017
    ...occurred and there was no evidence of victim impact. 21 The respondent highlights the judgment of this Court in DPP v Jonathan Duffy [2016] IECA 331 which, the respondent submits, illustrates this Court's approach. In that case, Bermingham J held as follows: 'This Court has said on many oc......
  • DPP v Lyons
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 18 May 2017
    ...suffered, the mitigating circumstances and the appellant's rehabilitation prospects. Decision 29 In The People (DPP) v. Duffy [2016] IECA 331 at para. 12 Birmingham J. stated that:- 'This Court has said on many occasions that the fact that there might be another way of dealing with matters......

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