DPP v Gurr


1980 WJSC-CCA 134


Henchy J.

Gannon J.

Garrington J.

Record No 60/79
People (D.P.P.) v. GURR
Henchy J.

This is an application for leave to appeal against sentence only. The applicant pleaded guilty in the District Court and the District Justice, pursuant to s. 13(2)(b) of the Criminal Procedure Act,1967, sent him forward to the Circuit Court for sentence on the two charges in question. On the first charge (entering a building as a trespasser and stealing property therefrom, contrary to s. 23 A (1) of the Larceny Act, 1916, as inserted by s. 6 of the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act,1976) he was sentenced to three years detention. On the second charge (malicious damage contrary to s. 51 of the Malicious Damage Act, 1861, he was sentenced to twelve months detention. Because he was aged not less than 17 and not more than 21, s. 13(1) of the Criminal Justice Act, 1960, required the term imposed to be one of detention rather than of imprisonment.


The ground of appeal relied on in the notice of appeal is severity of sentence. In the opinion of the Court that ground has not been sustained, but in the course of the argument counsel for the applicant raised a further ground, namely, that the Circuit Judge had no jurisdiction to sentence the applicant on the first charge.


The contention in support of this further ground is that the penalty provided by s. 23 A. (4) of the Larceny Act, 1916, as inserted by s. 6 of the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act,1976, is a maximum of fourteen years imprisonment "on conviction on indictment"; that the applicant was not convicted on indictment; and that in those circumstances there was no jurisdiction to impose the sentence.


Assuming, without so holding, that it is competent for the applicant to raise this ground in this Court, it has to be pointed out that the right of appeal now being exercised by the applicant is against a sentence which, under s. 1 of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act,1973, is to be treated as if it had been imposed after conviction on indictment.


However, apart from that, the Court considers that this ground is misconceived. S. 13(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act,1967, provides that that section is to apply to all indictable offences except certain named...

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