The People (DPP) v McMenamy


[2014] IECA 47


The President

Kelly J.

Hogan J.



In the Matter of Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993

The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Paul McMenamy

Sentencing - Assault occasioning serious harm - Undue leniency - Applicant seeking to appeal against sentence - Whether sentence was unduly lenient


This is an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions under s. 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993, for the review of the sentence that was imposed on the accused, the respondent to this application, Mr. Paul McMenamy at the Dublin Circuit Court on 9th December 2013. On that occasion, the learned Circuit judge imposed a sentence of six years imprisonment with the final year suspended on conditions.


The charge was in respect of an assault under s. 4 of the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act, that is, an assault occasioning serious harm on Ms. Nicola Murray who was the girlfriend and partner and indeed fiancé of the accused at the time. The date of the crime was 5th February 2012. On that occasion, the respondent, Mr. McMenamy, inflicted very serious injuries on Ms. Murray.


In very brief terms, the parties were living together. At the time of this episode, there were two little boys in the house, the children of Ms. Murray. A third child was elsewhere. The two adults went out for some drinks; they came back; they let the babysitter go and there followed an episode involving considerable violence. We know that the episode lasted for some time. It may not be of any specific period that can be identified with particularity, but it lasted for a sufficient time that it was noticeable and noticed by the neighbours.


In this altercation, it is clear that Mr. McMenamy inflicted serious injuries on Ms. Murray. She sustained, inter alia, a subdural haematoma. She had other injuries. Thesubdural haematoma is the most serious and which is what puts the matter into the category of section 4. But she did not only have a subdural haematoma. She had bruising of her face and body of such a kind that when, eventually, later that afternoon she received hospital treatment, it was apparent to the medical staff that it was likely to have been caused by an assault and not an accidental injury as it...

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