DPP v McDermott & McLoughlin


[2014] IECA 14


Birmingham, J.

Mahon, J.

Edwards, J.

Appeal Number: 43/2012
Appeal Number: 49/2012
DPP v McDermott & McLoughlin
The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Sean McDermott and Jason McLoughlin

43/2012 & 49/2012 - Birmingham Mahon Edwards - Court of Appeal - 16/12/2014 - 2014 16 4471 2014 IECA 14


Sentencing – Criminal damage – Consecutive sentences – Appellants seeking to appeal against sentences – Whether sentences were appropriate and proportionate

Judgment of the Court
Mr. Justice Mahon

These are appeals against sentences of ten years, (with the final three suspended on conditions), imposed at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on 16th February 2012 in respect of offences relating to the use of a firearm and criminal damage. Because the offences were committed while both of the appellants were on bail in relation to earlier offences, the sentences were consecutive to sentences then being served, and which would serve to keep both appellants in prison until approximately 2014 and July 2013 respectively, that is two and a half years and one and a half years after the sentences imposed in these cases.


On the 27th January 2011 both appellants travelled by motorbike to a particular house in Ballyfermot and there discharged a total of three cartridges through the front living room window, a bedroom window and the front door of the house. The intention was to frighten the occupants, rather than injure them. In their attempt to escape the scene the appellants crashed their motorbike while being pursued by Gardai, sustaining injuries to themselves in so doing. Their actions were clearly planned, reckless and could so easily have caused very serious injury and/or even fatalities. Their offences were undoubtedly of the more serious type and had to result in lengthy prison sentences, and sentences consecutive to those already being served by both men.


Both appellants had long lists of previous convictions, (77 and 62 respectively), for various offences, some very serious and others less so in nature, stretching back over a number of years. This fact, coupled with the very serious nature of the offences committed, left the learned trial judge with little option in terms of...

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