DPP v Harford


[2015] IECA 358


Finlay Geoghegan J.


Finlay Geoghegan J.

Peart J.

Hogan J.

The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Karl Harford

Sentencing – Possession of an explosive substance – Severity of sentence – Appellant seeking to appeal against sentence – Whether sentence was unduly severe

Judgment of the Court (ex tempore) delivered on the 23rd day of February 2015, by Ms. Justice Finlay Geoghegan
Ms. Justice Finlay Geoghegan

On the 10th December, 2013, the appellant was sentenced by the trial judge to eight years with the last two years suspended. The sentence related to a single offence of possession of an explosive substance contrary to s. 4 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883. The appellant pleaded guilty to the offence on the 19th July, 2013. For the reasons stated in a judgment delivered on the 28th January, 2015, this Court allowed the appeal against severity of sentence and directed the preparation of a probation report and Governor's report and an education report and adjourned the sentencing to today's date.


The court has considered all three reports and heard submissions. It has also been told that the appellant had a further sentence imposed for an offence of violent disorder. That sentence is five years with the final two years and six months of the sentence suspended on a number of conditions, one of which is a period of supervision post release for eighteen months. That sentence is consecutive to the sentence to be imposed by this court.


The facts in relation to the commission of the offence by the appellant are fully set out in the judgment delivered on the 28th January, 2015 and it is not intended to repeat them now. As appears from that judgment, the appellant was found in possession of a viable incendiary device that was in a relatively small 500gm jar.


The applicant was born on 24th October 1991. The offence was committed on the 5th November, 2010, he had just turned nineteen at the time of the offence. Regrettably the appellant is a person who at the date of sentence for this offence in December 2013 had already amassed a remarkable number of convictions, 140 in total.


This Court is of the view that the offence committed by the appellant falls on the lower end of the mid...

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