DPP v Ginty

CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
JudgeMr. Justice Birmingham
Judgment Date12 December 2014
Neutral Citation[2014] IECA 32
Date12 December 2014
Docket Number200/13

[2014] IECA 32


Birmingham J.

Sheehan J.

Mahon J.

DPP v Ginty
The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Kevin Ginty

Criminal law - Appeal against severity of sentence - Imprisonment - Five year sentence - Offence of burglary - Entered building as trespasser and committed assault causing harm - Maximum sentence available is one of fourteen years - Whether error of principle - Proportionality of sentence - Mitigating factors

Facts The appellant was romantically involved with a young lady named Ms McVeigh. The couple had been in a relationship for two and half years. The night before the incident in question he called at her house and suggested they go to Portugal together, he ultimately began to plead with her and beg on his knees. She rejected the suggestions and made it clear to him that the relationship was over. She subsequently asked him to leave. She threatened calling the Gardaí. It was only when she made contact with his brother, who then arrived on the scene, did he agree to leave the premises. The following evening Ms McVeigh attended a private house party. She arrived home at 2.30am by taxi. The appellant forcefully gained entry to her house. She contacted a friend, who then informed the Gardaí. She suffered bruising and abrasions as a result of the incident and lost a sense of personal security.

>Held The Court referred to the seriousness of the offence. It was a violation of a private dwelling and involved an act of violence directed against a female in her own home. However, the judge concluded the sentence was out of line with sentences typically imposed in cases of a similar nature. The offence was committed by a first-time offender. The judge said insufficient attention was paid to this and that perhaps there was an over emphasis on the Adam Keane case (though it did involve a violation of a dwelling it was a very different case indeed). The judge concluded there was an error of principle and the sentence imposed could not stand. The judge sought to set aside the sentence originally passed by the Central Criminal Court and substitute it for a more appropriate sentence.

- Sentence of two years imprisonment imposed


1. In this case Mr. Ginty appeals against the severity of a prison sentence that was imposed upon him in the Central Criminal Court. The sentence under appeal is one of five years imprisonment that was imposed on the 22 nd July, 2013, in respect of the offence of burglary. The particulars of the offence being that he entered a building as a trespasser and having done so, committed the arrestable offence of assault causing harm. It is an offence in respect of which the maximum penalty provided is one of fourteen years.


2. The background facts may be stated briefly, but to put those in context, it is necessary to explain that in the past the appellant had been involved in a relationship with a young lady Ms. McVeigh, and that relationship which was a romantic relationship had gone on for some two and a half years. On the 2 nd April, which is the evening before the events with which we are directly concerned, the position is that Mr. Ginty called to the home of Ms. McVeigh and raised with her the question of going to Portugal and he pushed his suggestions in that regard to the extent of getting down on his knees before her. But she was quite firm in rejecting any suggestion of any further contact, quite firm in making it clear that as far as she was concerned, the relationship was over and very definitely and firmly over. She said in terms that she was better off without him. His response to that was that he was quite derogatory of her and she in those circumstances asked him to leave, saying that she would call the gardaí if he did not. He reacted badly to this and she said she was going to go to bed and he said that if she did that, that he would burn the house down. Contact was made by...

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