People (Attorney General) v Hoey


1930 WJSC-CCA 888


People (Attorney General) v. Hoey
The People (Attorney General)
Noel Hoey

Copy Judgment of Court of Criminal Appeal (Ó Dálaigh C.J., Murnaghan and Hencby JJ .) delivered 5th November, 1965 .

Ó Dálaigh C.J., Murnaghan and Hencby JJ

Conviction of murder - without clear apprec-iation by jury as to difference in law between murder and manslaughter - retrial ordered.

Judgment on 5th November 1965

The applicant, Noel Hoey, was convicted on 9th July, 1965 at the Central Criminal Court of the murder of Rosemary Reenan and was sentenced by the presiding judge, Mr. Justice Teevan, to penal servitude for life.


The applicant applied for but was refused a certificate for leave to appeal. His appeal to this Court is against that refusal. The Court has treated the appeal for such leave as the hearing of the appeal.


Applicant's notice of appeal sets forth thirteen grounds of appeal. The appeal against conviction has, however, been limited by applicant's counsel to 2 grounds, the first and he seventh, stated in the notice of appeal. The applicant's complaint with regard to sentence raises the question of the construction of section 1 of the Criminal Justice Act,1964which is now under consideration in the Supreme Court in The People (Attorney General) v. Murtagh. This last ground has accordingly not yet been argued, and counsel has been told that his client's rights in that regard are fully reserved.


The first of the two grounds advanced as going to the validity of the applicant's conviction is stated as follows: "That there was no evidence, or alternatively no sufficient evidence, that the death of the deceased girl was a “foreseeable” result of the actions of the accused if the jury found against deliberate drowning." The Court has heard an elaborate argument from counsel for the applicant on this first ground. Counsel has examined the element of foreseeability as a factor rendering a person responsible for his acts in civil as well as criminal law. The Court has not, however, found it necessary to consider this first ground or to say whether, in the case of a charge of murder it is now necessary or permissible to look beyond the words of section 4(2) of the Criminal Justice Act,1964that "the accused person shall be presumed to have intended the natural and probable consequences of his conduct but (that) this presumption may be rebutted."


The second ground of appeal is that the learned trial judge failed to answer adequately the questions put by the jury. The trial lasted five days. The jury retired at 3.10 p.m. on the fifth day. The events thereafter will be clearer if set out in tabular forms:-




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