DPP v Simon Pierce

CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
JudgeFinnegan J.
Judgment Date04 February 2008
Neutral Citation[2008] IECCA 10
Docket Number171/2007
Date04 February 2008
DPP v Pierce

[2008] IECCA 10





Severity - Drugs - Possession - Value of €12,500 - Trading for own profit - Early admission incomplete - Fleeing while on bail - Rehabilitation - Final year of 5 years sentence suspended (171/2007 - CCA - 4/2/2008) [2008] IECCA 10

People (DPP) v Pierce

Finnegan J.

This is an appeal against severity of sentence. The applicant was sentenced on a plea of guilty entered early of the offence of possession of drugs for sale or supply contrary to section 15 subsection (1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act1977 as amended. The value of the drugs in question according to the evidence on the sentencing hearing was €12,250.00 which is very marginally short of the figure at which the mandatory ten year sentence would have come into play. When this court is looking at sentences for this offence it is appropriate as a starting point to look at the maximum sentence provided for in section 15 subsection (1) that is a term of life imprisonment. It is also necessary to look at the sentence appropriate where the statutory sum is exceeded in the value of the drugs in question which is a sentence of ten years subject to the possibility of some reduction in that in certain circumstances. So that is the background against which the appropriate sentence for this offence having regard to its seriousness must be accessed. The court must also, of course, look at the other end at the possibility of a non-custodial sentence but in the circumstances of this case that would not arise.


There are two matters which affect the view which a court should take in relation to this offence which weigh against making any great concessions to this particular appellant. The first is that on the 9th October 2005 he was convicted of an offence of assault causing harm and the only information this court has available about that offence is that the sentencing judge saw it as a very serious offence. In any event the sentence imposed initially was a term of one year imprisonment but having regard to his previous good record and other circumstances the applicant was then sentenced in substitution to two hundred and forty hours community service. So that was an opportunity given to this applicant to mend his ways and he did not do so because he was then convicted of this offence which occurred on the 31st May 2006.


The offence in question occurred in the following circumstances. A Garda surveillance operation was under way at Shercock, Co. Cavan, and they, it would appear, expected the applicant to arrive. As he did the Garda car pulled out in front of his car...

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