Poyning, Application of

CourtSupreme Court
Judgment Date01 January 1972
Date01 January 1972
Docket Number[1972. No. 189 SS.]

Supreme Court

[1972. No. 189 SS.]
Application of Poyning
Application of Poyning

Poyning was imprisoned in Limerick Prison pursuant to a warrant of the Circuit Court dated the 3rd November, 1971, to serve the sentences imposed by that court; those sentences were varied by the order of the Court of Criminal Appeal made on the 3rd March, 1972: see The People (Attorney General) v. Poyning, supra. He was transferred to Portlaoise Prison by order of the Minister for Justice made on the 11th November, 1971. Poyning applied to the High Court for an order of habeas corpus and the application was refused by the President of the High Court on the 20th June, 1972. Poyning appealed to the Supreme Court, in person and ex parte, and the appeal was heard on the 17th July, 1972. The following judgments were delivered on the 24th July, 1972.

ÓDalaigh ó dalaigh C.J.:—

The applicant seeks an order of habeas corpus. His original application was refused by the President in the High Court on the 20th June, 1972. The applicant, having pleaded guilty in the Cork Circuit Court to a charge of armed robbery, is now serving a sentence of three years penal servitude from 3rd November, 1971, which was the date of his conviction in the Circuit Court. This sentence was substituted by the Court of Criminal Appeal for a sentence of four years penal servitude that the Circuit Court judge had (erroneously in the opinion of the Court of Criminal Appeal) directed should run from a date prior to the date of the conviction. The applicant was indicted in the Cork Circuit Court with two others, Motherway and Twomey, on five counts ranging from armed robbery to taking a mechanically propelled vehicle without authority. Motherway and Twomey sought, and were granted, a transfer to the Central Criminal Court. They pleaded guilty in that court. Motherway pleaded guilty to armed robbery, and Twomey pleaded guilty to conspiracy. For these offences they were sentenced respectively to six years penal servitude, but the sentence in each case was suspended on their entering into a bond of £2,000 (with one independent surety in £2,000) to keep the peace for 5 years.

The applicant's first ground is put forward in the terms of para. 640 of Archbold's Pleading, Evidence and Practice in Criminal Cases (36th ed.) which reads as follows:—

"640. Sentence—one of several prisoners pleading guilty. The Court of Appeal has directed that where persons are joined in one indictment and one of them pleads...

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