DPP v Maughan

JudgeBirmingham P.
Judgment Date22 October 2018
Neutral Citation[2018] IECA 343
Docket Number[193/17]
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
Date22 October 2018

[2018] IECA 343


Birmingham J.

The President

Edwards J.

Hunt J.



Sentencing – Endangerment – Severity of sentence – Appellant seeking to appeal against sentence – Whether sentence was unduly severe

Facts: The appellant, Mr Maughan, appealed to the Court of Appeal against severity of sentence. The sentences under appeal were sentences of 5 years’ imprisonment imposed in respect of each of two counts of endangerment. The sentences were imposed on 14th June 2017 at the Circuit Court in Castlebar and followed a conviction after a contested trial. The appellant submitted that the Judge erred in placing each of the endangerment offences “as close to the top of the scale as could be”. It was said that the driving was undoubtedly very dangerous and, indeed, was taken out of the category of ordinary dangerous driving and into the endangerment category, but the appellant submitted that the facts were not at the most extreme end of that offence.

Held by the Court that, having had regard to the aggravating factors, the multiplicity of previous road traffic offences, the fact that the driving occurred at a time when the appellant was the subject of multiple disqualification orders and the absence of significant mitigation, it had not been persuaded that the sentence, while severe, was so severe as to fall outside the available range and thus amount to an error of principle.

The Court held that the appeal would be dismissed.

Appeal dismissed.

JUDGMENT (Ex tempore) of the Court delivered on the 22nd day of October 2018 by Birmingham P.

This is an appeal against severity of sentence.


The sentences under appeal are sentences of 5 years' imprisonment imposed in respect of each of two counts of endangerment. The sentences in question were imposed on 14th June 2017 at the Circuit Court in Castlebar and followed a conviction after a contested trial.


The background to the matter is to be found in the fact that on 11th February 2016, at approximately 5.50pm, Garda Drury found himself in a patrol car at Kilkelly Road, Kiltimagh, County Mayo, when he observed, the appellant, Martin Maughan standing alongside a silver People Carrier speaking to the occupant. There was a green Vauxhall Vectra facing in the opposite direction and both vehicles were obstructing road users from passing by. Garda Drury got out of the patrol car in which he was travelling and walked towards Mr. Maughan and called his name. At that stage, Mr. Maughan jumped into the Vauxhall Vectra and reversed the vehicle at speed, mounting the footpath, almost colliding with two ladies who were out for an evening walk and were wearing high visibility jackets. Mr. Maughan then drove off at speed in the direction of the N17, the main road. At Coill Trasna, he overtook a vehicle on a continuous white line at speed. He continued to drive at speed and overtook a vehicle going up a hill with oncoming traffic. At Canbrack, Kiltimagh and Derrynaned, Kiltimagh, he took a sharp bend on the wrong side of the road, forcing oncoming vehicles to veer onto the verge. Mr. Maughan was travelling at speeds in excess of 150km per hour, and at Derryclaha, Kiltimagh, almost lost control of the vehicle due to the excessive speed at which he was travelling. He continued to drive at speed off the minor road onto the main N17, and as described by Garda Drury, showed total disregard for other road users and did not slow down. At that stage, Garda Drury lost sight of the vehicle. Subsequently, on 15th April 2016, Mr. Maughan was arrested and detained and denied the allegations.


The first of the two endangerment counts relates to reversing onto the footpath in proximity to the two female pedestrians. The second endangerment count related to driving at excessive speed around a sharp bend on the incorrect side of the road.


In terms of the background and personal circumstances of the appellant, the sentencing Court was told that he was 39 years of...

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2 cases
  • DPP v Maxwell
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 11 March 2020
    ...leniency. The Court was referred to a number of relevant authorities by the parties in their written submissions. In DPP v. Maughan [2018] IECA 343 the Court considered an appeal against severity from two concurrent sentences of five years imprisonment in respect of two counts of endangerm......
  • DPP v Anthony Fennell
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 17 January 2022
    ...so lenient that the court must intervene to correct an error in principle. Similarly, reference is made to The People (DPP) v. Maughan [2018] IECA 343. 23 Reference is made by the respondent to The People (DPP) v. Stanescu [2020] IECA 55 to emphasise the judge's wide margin of discretion as......

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