DPP v Healy

 
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1989 WJSC-CCA 1265

COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL

McCarthy J.

Carroll J.

Barron J.

20/88
DPP v. HEALY
THE PEOPLE (AT THE SUIT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS)
-V-
NOEL HEALY

Citations:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1984 S11

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1951 S5

AG, PEOPLE V POYNING 1972 IR 402

CRAIES STATUTORY INTERPRETATION 6ED P66

ARCHBOLD CRIMINAL PLEADING EVIDENCE & PRACTICE 43ED V1 PARA 5.176

ARCHBOLD CRIMINAL PLEADING EVIDENCE & PRACTICE 43ED V1 PARA 5.178

CHILDRENS ACT 1908 S103

Synopsis:

CRIMINAL LAW

Sentence

Imprisonment - Duration - Conspiracy - False imprisonment - Robbery - Term of eight years - Co-conspirators - Disparity of sentences - Relevance - Duration of sentence to be determined regardless of fact that it would be a consecutive sentence - Criminal Justice Act, 1984, s. 11 - (20/86 - C.C.A. - 12/7/89)

|The People v. Healy|

STATUTORY INTERPRETATION

Conviction

Conviction - Sentence - Imprisonment - Duration - Co-conspirators - Disparity of sentences - Relevance - Consecutive sentence - (20/88 - C.C.A. - 12/7/89) - [1990] 1 I.R. 388

|The People v. Healy|

1

Judgment of the Court delivered the 12th day of July 1989 by McCarthy J.

2

Noel Healy, (the Applicant), John Curley, George Royale, Gerard Rodgers and Paul Harte were charged at the Circuit Court in Limerick with a series of offences arising from an elaborate conspiracy to carry out an armed hold-up of Mr. Duffy and his family at his home in Limerick, forcing Mr. Duffy to open his jewellery premises and thus carry out a large scale robbery. Efficient and comprehensive police action forestalled the plan. After the trial had commenced, the Applicant was re-arraigned and pleaded guilty to 2 counts on the indictment, conspiracy to commit false imprisonment and conspiracy to rob. He was sentenced by the President of the Circuit Court to a term of eight years imprisonment on each count, such sentences to be concurrent.

3

It is not argued that the sentence itself is disproportionate to the offences nor that there is any intrinsic error in principle. The contention is that the sentence is disproportionate to the sentence imposed on the co-conspirators who have been dealt with in the courts and that this is particularly so since the Applicant was the youngest of those involved and the only one to answer to his bail. It is convenient, therefore, to set out in tabular form certain details concerning each conspirator who has been sentenced:-

Accused

Counts

Sentence

Date

Noel Healy

1 and 2

8 years

15-12-1986

Paul Harte

2 and 8

2 years

17-10-1986

George Royale

2

2 years

4-5-1987

Gerard Rodgers

2 and 8

4 years

3-4-1989

4

The Court has read the transcripts of the sentencing of Messrs. Harte, Royale and Rodgers.

5

Paul Harte, who was then serving a sentence of 10 years imprisonment for the offence of possession of firearms with intent to endanger life on the 3rd December 1984, pleaded guilty to an armed robbery in a public house in Wicklow on the 4th June 1985 when he was on bail in respect of the December 1984 offences; on the 17th October 1986, on his plea of guilty to counts 2 and 8 of the indictment also preferred against the present Applicant, he was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment to commence at the expiration of a sentence of 3 years imprisonment imposed in respect of the Wicklow offence. The Trial Judge stated:-

"I must make it clear that these sentences which may appear very light are being imposed simply because Mr. Harte is already serving a sentence of 10 years imposed this year. If it wasn't for that I would have imposed sentences of about 15 years imprisonment for the two offences to which he pleaded guilty today. It amounts to the same thing in the long run."

6

George Royale was, on the 18th February 1987, convicted of an aggravated burglary committed in Wexford, on which charge he was on bail at the time of the commission of the Limerick offence of conspiracy to rob to which he pleaded guilty In sentencing him on this charge, the Trial Judge said:-

"Now the question that arises with me is what would have happened if this charge had been mentioned to Judge Buchanan, my colleague, on the 28th February last when you were sentenced to 4 years. If he could have taken it into account, which he couldn't have having regard to the circumstances, what would he have added on? I think he would have added on 2 years which I am going to give you. I am going to impose a 2 year sentence upon you for the present charge again making it quite clear that you are not pleading guilty to the aggravated count, count No. 1, the false imprisonment. I am making it quite clear that I am holding you guilty of a minor part in the conspiracy in imposing 2 years imprisonment only and that it is to be consecutive upon the 4 years already imposed on you."

7

Gerard Rodgers who pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to rob and the possession of firearms offences was, like Paul Harte and the present applicant,...

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