DPP v Murray

 
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[2018] IESCDET 52

THE SUPREME COURT

DETERMINATION

Clarke C.J.

Dunne J.

O'Malley J.

BETWEEN:
THE PEOPLE (AT THE SUIT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS)
RESPONDENT
AND
MICHAEL MURRAY
APPLICANT

Sentencing – Rape – Undue leniency – Applicant seeking to appeal against sentence – Whether the Court of Appeal erred in interfering with the applicant’s sentence on the basis of perceived inadequacy

Facts: The applicant, Mr Murray, after a contested trial, was sentenced by the Central Criminal Court to a total of 15 years imprisonment on a number of counts including rape, aggravated sexual assault, false imprisonment and threatening to kill and abduction of the complainant’s child. The Court of Appeal took the view that the sentences were “inadequate to a significant extent”, and therefore unduly lenient within the meaning of s.2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993. It substituted a sentence of 19 years. The applicant applied to the Supreme Court seeking leave to appeal against the order of the Court of Appeal. The central point made by the applicant was that the sentence was within the range of 15 years to life imprisonment identified by Charleton J in The People (DPP) v W.D. [2008] 1 IR 308 as appropriate to the most serious category of rape offences. The applicant submitted that the criterion for acceding to an application for a review of a sentence on the grounds of undue leniency is that it falls outside the available range. It was therefore argued that, since the sentence was within the available range, there could have been no error in principle and that the Court of Appeal erred in interfering with the sentence on the basis of perceived inadequacy.

Held by the Court that the application did not meet the constitutional requirements in respect of either general public importance or the interests of justice.

The Court held that it would not grant leave to the applicant to appeal to the Court from the Court of Appeal.

Appeal dismissed.

APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL TO WHICH ARTICLE 34.5.3° OF THE CONSTITUTION APPLIES
RESULT: The Court does not grant leave to the Applicant to appeal to this Court from the Court of Appeal.
ORDER SOUGHT TO BE APPEALED
COURT: Court of Appeal
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 3rd November, 2017
DATE OF ORDER: 3rd November, 2017
DATE OF PERFECTION OF ORDER: 11th December, 2018
THE APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL WAS MADE ON THE 4th JANUARY, 2018 AND WAS IN TIME.
REASONS GIVEN:
General Considerations
1

The general principles applied by this Court in determining whether to grant or refuse leave to appeal having regard to the criteria incorporated into the Constitution as a result of the 33rd Amendment have now been considered in a large number of determinations and are fully addressed in both a determination issued by a panel consisting of all of the members of this Court in B.S. v Director of Public Prosecutions [2017] IESCDET 134 and in a unanimous judgment of a full Court delivered by O'Donnell J. in PriceWaterhouse Coopers (A Firm) v...

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