DPP v R(J)

JudgeCarney J.
Judgment Date04 December 1995
Neutral Citation1998 WJSC-CCC 6024
CourtCentral Criminal Court (Ireland)
Date04 December 1995

1998 WJSC-CCC 6024


DPP v. R(J)



G V DPP UNREP SUPREME 11.11.93 1993/11/3440

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Carney J.

The Accused has pleaded guilty to ten counts of rape, four counts of unlawful carnal knowledge, six counts of indecent assault and five counts of sexual assault. It is quite clear that the counts to which he has pleaded guilty are representative ones.


The details of the offences are recorded in the transcript and it would serve no useful purpose repeating them today. It will be sufficient to indicate the heinousness of the case to say that the Accused has pleaded guilty to the completed common law rape of a girl aged four years at the time.


I would have wished to have been free to consider the imposition of a life sentence in this case. while the maximum statutory penalty in respect of many of the counts in the indictment is either imprisonment or penal servitude for life, it is clear from the decisions of Courts binding on me that this sentence is not open to me in this case, particularly in the light of the Accused's plea of guilty.


I would have wished to consider a life sentence for the following reasons:-


1. To take account of the heinousness and multiplicity of the offences.


2. The propensity to re-offend inherent in those who perpetrate this type of offence. The Accused will still be relatively young at the conclusion of any determinate sentence.


3. The fears which his victims have in relation to his being at liberty.


4. The capacity of the Minister's expert advisers to evaluate when and if a release would be safe from the standpoint of the community in general and its children in particular.


I reviewed the decisions binding on me when I ???imposed??? sentence on J.D. on the 27th day of April, 1995. That was a case where the Accused pleaded guilty to raping his mother and where the psychiatric evidence established that from the age of twelve he had a tendency to attack women and that there was no likelihood that this aspect of his behaviour would change in the near future. In that case I said:-

"To take account of all the circumstances of this cas I would wish to sentence the Accused on the following basis -"

(a) taking account of the nature of his crime and all factors militating both in his favour and against him;

(b) ensuring that he would not be released until in the opinion of the appropriate experts his releas was safe from the point of view of society in general and women in particular. I am, however circumscribed by the decisions of Courts Superior to my own whose decisions are binding on me.


In D.P.P. -v- James Jackson (Court of Criminal Appeal judgment delivered (ex tempore) the 26th day of April, 1993 by Hederman J.) I sought to protect women and prostitutes in particular by imposing a life sentence with a view to ensuring that the Accused would not be released until it would be safe to release him. At page 2 of the judgment Hederman J. said, "It is submitted on behalf of the Applicant that what in fact the Central Criminal Court did in this instance was that it imposed a preventative sentence on the Accused, a sentence of life in order as the learned trial judge said to protect women from the Applicant. The Court is satisfied that preventative detention is not known to our judicial system and that there is no form of imprisonment for preventative detention".


At page 9 of the judgment Hederman J. said; "Mr. Feehan has drawn our attention to the judgment of the learned trial judge at p. 26 of Book C of the transcript of evidence, at which he says at the end "The sentence which I am imposing is intended to protect women, protect prostitutes but indeed to protect all women against the Accused until such time as in the humane judgment of the authorities he is fit to be released". It is the view of this Court that sentencing policy is exclusively a matter for the judiciary and not foro the executive and therefore, i is for the courts to impose the appropriate sentence


In G. -v- Director of Public Prosecutions (judgment delivered the 11th day of November, 1993) the Suprem Court quashed twelve concurrent life sentences ???impos??? by me where the Accused pleaded guilty to twelve rap perpetrated on two nieces and a neighbours child but admitted to over four hundred occasions on which he had either sexually interfered with or raped the children.


At page 3 of his judgment Finlay C,J. said: "In the course of his ruling leading up to the imposition of twelve concurrent sentences of penal servitude for life the...

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