DPP v Heneghan & O'Sullivan


[2014] IECA 30


The President

Birmingham J.

Sheehan J.

DPP v Heneghan & O'Sullivan
The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Adam Heneghan and Colin O'Sullivan

66/2013 & 55/2013 - Ryan Birmingham Sheehan - Court of Appeal - 25/11/2014 - 2014 15 4251 2014 IECA 30


Sentencing – Assault – Severity of sentence – Appellants seeking to appeal against the severity of sentences – Whether consecutive sentences were appropriate

Birmingham J.

In this case the two appellants Mr. Heneghan and Mr. O'Sullivan appeal against the severity of sentences imposed upon them on the 27th February, 2013, in the Cork Circuit Court. The sentences that are the subject of appeal are, in the case of Mr. Heneghan, a sentence of three years imprisonment for a s. 3 assault and a consecutive sentence of six years imprisonment in respect of an offence of sexual assault with one year suspended. In the case of Mr. O'Sullivan, the sentences appealed are four years imprisonment in respect of the s. 3 assault, six years in respect of the sexual assault, again with one year suspended.


In terms of the overall sentences that are under examination, we are looking at the situation where in the case of Mr. Heneghan it is an aggregate sentence of nine years with one suspended and in the case of Mr. O'Sullivan, ten years with one suspended.


The facts of these cases are that on the 3rd December, 2011, the first injured party Ms. EO, a Polish national and hotel employee, left her place of work outside Cork City around 2.30 in the morning, walking towards Cork city centre. Her route brought her close to the Mercy University Hospital and in the vicinity of the hospital, she was conscious of the presence of two males and it is fair to say, wary at the presence of the two males and alarmed by their presence.


In the vicinity of Cork University Hospital, she was struck on the head with a bottle. It would seem that that bottle was wielded by the appellant Mr. Heneghan. As it happened and fortunately, she was wearing her hair in a bun on the occasion and it appears that some of the impact of the blow was taken by the hairclip that was keeping her hair up in the bun. The incident happened close to the University Hospital and was captured on CCTV footage from the hospital and it is also the case that the incident drew the attention of a security guard at the hospital. Conscious of the fact that the security guard was aware of what had happened, the two males fled the scene.


The two males in question were of course the two appellants, and then very shortly thereafter, they came into contact with the second injured party, Ms. RM. Ms. M was walking home after a night out socialising and she came across the two appellants. It is of some significance and it is an indication of a degree of planning on the part of the appellants that they pretended to be drunker than they in fact were. It...

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