DPP v T.C.

 
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[2014] IECA 62

THE COURT OF APPEAL

Sheehan J.

Birmingham J.

Sheehan J.

Mahon J.

97/12

The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Respondent
V
T.C.
Appellant

Sentencing – Sexual assault – Manifestly excessive sentence – Appellant seeking to appeal against sentence – Whether sentence was manifestly excessive

Facts: The appellant, on the 24th February, 2012, pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual assault. These were deemed to be sample counts on a 21 count indictment. The appellant was sentenced to seven years imprisonment on each of the six counts all to run concurrently and to be backdated to the 1st January, 2011. In addition the sentencing judge placed the appellant on the sex offenders register and also imposed a seven year post release supervision order subject to certain conditions. The appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal against sentence submitting that it was excessive and in the circumstances disproportionate. He further submitted that the sentencing judge failed to take proper account of the mitigating factors. The appellant contended that the sentencing judge erred in principle in failing to properly consider s. 29(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1999, in view of the early plea of guilty as well as the appellant’s cooperation with the Gardaí. It was further submitted that the sentencing judge failed to give sufficient weight to professional reports submitted on behalf of the appellant.

Held by the Court that under the Criminal Justice Act 1999, the maximum post release supervision order in the case of a seven year sentence is one of three years. The Court held that apart from the error relating to post release supervision, there was no error in the length of sentence that was actually imposed.

The Court held that the only variation in sentence deemed appropriate was one in which the post release supervision order would be reduced to one of three years. Otherwise the Court would not interfere with the original sentence.

Appeal allowed.

Judgment of the Court (ex tempore) delivered on the 8th day of December 2014, by Mr. Justice Sheehan
1

This is an appeal against sentence.

2

On the 24th February, 2012, the appellant pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual assault. These were deemed to be sample counts on a 21 count indictment. The appellant was sentenced to seven years imprisonment on each of the six counts all to run concurrently and to be backdated to the 1st January, 2011. In addition the learned sentencing judge placed the appellant on the sex offenders register and also imposed a seven year post release supervision order subject to certain conditions.

3

The appellant submits that the sentence imposed was excessive and in these circumstances disproportionate. He further submits that the learned sentencing judge failed to take proper account of the mitigating factors. The appellant contends that the learned sentencing judge erred in principle in failing to consider properly s. 29(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1999, in view of the early plea of guilty as well as the appellant's cooperation with the gardaí.

4

It was further submitted that the sentencing judge failed to give sufficient weight to professional reports submitted on...

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