DPP v Nguyen

 
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[2014] IECA 55

THE COURT OF APPEAL

The President.

Birmingham J.

Sheehan J.

255/13
256/13
DPP v Nguyen
The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Respondent
V
Ba Nguyen and Ha Nguyen
Appellants

255/2013 & 256/2013 - The President Birmingham Sheehan - Court of Appeal - 4/12/2014 - 2014 16 4538 2014 IECA 55

MISUSE OF DRUGS ACT 1977 S17

Sentencing – Cannabis cultivation – Severity of sentence – Appellants seeking to appeal against severity of sentence – Whether the sentencing judge erred in principle in finding that the offences were in the higher range

1

1. These are appeals against severity of sentence

2

2. At Trim Circuit Court on the 7 th June, 2013, Mr. Ba Nguyen and Ms. Ha Nguyen both pleaded guilty to the offence of cultivating cannabis contrary to s. 17 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, as amended. They were both sentenced to six years imprisonment with the final two years suspended in each case on terms that they each keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of two years following their release from prison.

3

3. In their appeals to this Court both appellants argue that the learned trial judge erred in principle in holding that these offences were within the higher range.

Background
4

4. On the 20 th November, 2012, members of An Garda Síochána searched a commercial unit on a business campus in Co. Meath on foot of a search warrant and seized approximately 1,300 cannabis plants that had reached various stages of growth. The plants were said to have a potential street value in excess of €1 million when harvested. The two appellants were found to be living in this unit in what were described as rudimentary conditions. They were both arrested and detained at Drogheda garda station for interview where each of them accepted their role in the cultivation of the cannabis plants.

Personal circumstances of Mr. Ba Nguyen
5

5. Mr. Ba Nguyen is 48 year old Vietnamese man whose wife and two children live in Vietnam. Before coming to Ireland, he worked as a pig and chicken farmer who had...

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