DPP v Wall

JurisdictionIreland
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
JudgeMr. Justice Birmingham
Judgment Date09 Jun 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] IECA 359
Docket Number45/14 47/14 46/14

[2015] IECA 359

THE COURT OF APPEAL

Birmingham J.

Birmingham J.

Sheehan J.

Mahon J.

45/14

47/14

46/14

The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Respondent
V
Thomas Wall, James Cash

and

William Wall
Appellants

Sentencing – Burglary – Severity of sentences – Appellants seeking to appeal against sentences – Whether sentences were unduly severe

Facts: The appellants, Mr T Wall, Mr Cash and Mr W Wall, were involved in one role or another in a number of burglaries that took place in the Cork City area. The Cork Circuit Court imposed sentences on each of the appellants of seven years imprisonment. In the case of Mr Cash, one year of that seven years was suspended and in the case of the other two appellants two years were suspended. The appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal against the severity of those sentences.

Held by Birmingham J that the appropriate starting point would have been one of four years imprisonment. In the case of the two appellants where initially two years of their sentence was suspended, the Court, conscious of the fact that they were effectively first offenders and were going to be experiencing custody for the first time, left the provision that was in place for suspension at two years unaltered. Effectively in the case of those two appellants, Birmingham J held that the sentences should be four years with two years suspended. So far as the appellant Mr Cash was concerned, in the Court’s view, having regard to his significant previous record, albeit not a record that involved an appearance in the Circuit Court on indictment, the trial judge was correct to take the view that it was necessary to differentiate his situation from the situation of the co-accused. The Court suspended the final 20 months of his sentence.

Birmingham J held that in the case of Mr Cash, the sentence imposed in the Circuit Court would be set aside and there would be substituted a sentence of four years imprisonment with 20 months suspended and in the case of the two Mr Walls’ the sentence in the Circuit Court would be set aside and there would be substituted sentences of four years with two years suspended in each case.

Appeal allowed.

Judgment of the Court (ex tempore) delivered on the 9th day of June 2015 by Mr. Justice Birmingham
Mr. Justice Birmingham
1

In this case the three gentlemen before the court appeal against the severity of sentences that were imposed upon them in the Cork Circuit Court. So far as the appellants William Wall and James Cash are concerned, they appealed against their conviction and that appeal was dealt with by this Court and this Court delivered a lengthy written judgment on the 15th May, 2015, which set out the backgrounds facts and it is not necessary to repeat those at this stage. Suffice to say that the appellants were involved in one role or another in a number of burglaries that took place in the Cork City area.

2

In the nature of things those have to be regarded as serious offences. Any offence of burglary is by definition serious where it involves the violation of a dwelling. Indeed every offence of burglaryhas the potential to be a violent offence and that so, even in a situation where...

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