DPP v McAuley

Judgment Date25 October 2001
Date25 October 2001
Docket Number[C.C.A. Nos. 5 & 6 of 1999]
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal

Court of Criminal Appeal

[C.C.A. Nos. 5 & 6 of 1999]
The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v. McAuley
The People (Director of Public Prosecutions)
Gerard Pearse McAuley and Kevin Walsh

Cases mentioned in this report:-

D.P.P. v. Grey [1986] I.R. 317; [1987] I.L.R.M. 4.

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Byrne [1995] 1 I.L.R.M. 279.

The People (D.P.P.) v. Conroy (No. 2) [1989] I.R. 160; [1989] I.L.R.M. 139.

R. v. Batchelor [1952] W.N. 244.

Criminal law - Sentencing - Manslaughter - Plea of guilty - Leniency - Review - Other offences committed taken into account when calculating sentence - Whether sentences imposed too lenient - Whether sentences imposed properly took into account other offences committed - Criminal Justice Act, 1951 (No. 2), s. 8 - Criminal Justice Act, 1993 (No. 6), s. 2.

Application to review sentence.

The facts have been summarised in the headnote and are more fully set out in the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeal delivered by Keane C.J., infra.

By notice of appeal dated the 3rd of March, 1999, the applicant sought to review the leniency of the sentences imposed on the respondents, pursuant to the provisions of s. 2 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1993.

The appeal was heard by the Court of Criminal Appeal (Keane C.J., McCracken and O'Higgins JJ.) on the 24th July, 2001.

Section 2(1) of the Criminal Justice Act, 1993, provides, inter alia:-

"If it appears to the Director of Public Prosecutions that a sentence imposed by a court … on conviction of a person on indictment was unduly lenient, he may apply to the Court of Criminal Appeal to review the sentence."

Section 8(1) of the Criminal Justice Act, 1951, provides:-

"Where a person, on being convicted of an offence, admits himself guilty of any other offence and asks to have it taken into consideration in awarding punishment, the Court may take it into consideration accordingly."

The respondents pleaded guilty in the Special Criminal Court to the manslaughter of a member of An Garda Siochána. Pursuant to the provisions of s. 8(1) of the Act of 1951, they asked the court to take other offences, to which they also pleaded guilty, into account when imposing sentence. The applicant consented to the other offences being taken into account. The respondents were each sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment.

The applicant applied pursuant to s. 2(1) of the Act of 1993, to have the sentences reviewed. He contended that they were too lenient having regard to the gravity of the offences. He further contended that the trial judges had failed to properly take into account the other offences, to which the respondents had pleaded guilty, when imposing sentence.

Held by the Court of Criminal Appeal (Keane C.J., McCracken and O'Higgins JJ.), in affirming the sentences, 1, that, for the court to interfere with the sentences imposed by the trial judge, there had to be a substantial departure from what the court would regard as the appropriate sentence.

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Byrne [1995] 1 I.L.R.M. 279 applied.

2. That the onus of proving that a sentence was unduly lenient was on the prosecutor and considerable importance ought to be attached to the views of the trial judge.

3. That the purpose of s. 8(1) of the Act of 1951 was to permit the court to have regard to other offences to which the accused had also admitted when determining the length of the sentence. However, there was no requirement that a sentence be increased significantly, or indeed at all, when a serious matter was taken into consideration pursuant to the section.

  • D.P.P. v. Grey [1986] I.R. 317; R. v. Batchelor [1952] W.N. 244 considered.

4. That it could not be considered wrong in principle that the sentences imposed in this case were not increased, even though serious matters were taken into consideration without objection from the applicant.

5. That it was not the function of the court in an application to review sentence to consider whether it might have imposed heavier sentences than those...

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7 cases
  • DPP v Ward
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 19 January 2015
    ...gravity. The existence or lack of premeditation is an important factor, as was identified inDPP v. Kelly [2005] 2IR and DPP v. McAuley [2001] 4IR160. Equally the extent and nature of the violence used, and the degree to which the victim contributed to, or participated in, a row which result......
  • DPP v Mahon
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    ...Prosecutions) v. Kelly[2004] IECCA 14, [2005] 2 I.R. 321; [2005] 1 I.L.R.M. 19. The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v. McAuley[2001] 4 I.R. 160. The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v. R. McC.[2007] IESC 47, [2008] 2 I.R. 92; [2008] 1 I.L.R.M. 321. The People (Attorney Gene......
  • DPP v Kelly
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    ...CCA 19.1.2004 HEALY, STATE V DONOGHUE 1976 IR 325 AG, PEOPLE V O'DRISCOLL 1972 1 FREWEN 351 DPP V M 1994 3 IR 306 DPP V MCAULEY & WALSH 2001 4 IR 160 1 JUDGMENT of the Court delivered the 5th day of July, 2004 by Hardiman J. 2 This is the applicant's application for leave to appeal again......
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