The State (Bloomfield) v Neylon

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeO'Hanlon J.,
Judgment Date01 January 1985
Neutral Citation1984 WJSC-HC 1024
Docket NumberNo.627 SS/1983
CourtHigh Court
Date01 January 1985

1984 WJSC-HC 1024

THE HIGH COURT

No.627 SS/1983
State (BLOOMFIELD) v. NEYLON
STATE SIDE
BETWEEN/
THE STATE (AT THE PROSECUTION OF TREVOR BLOOMFIELD)
Prosecutor

and

CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE THOMAS J. NEYLON AND THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
Respondents

Subject Headings:

CRIMINAL LAW: conviction

JUDICIAL REVIEW: certiorari

1

Judgment delivered by O'Hanlon J., the 6th day of February 1984

2

The Prosecutor was jointly charged, with one, David Hill, on indictment before His Honour Judge Thomas J. Neylon, President of the Circuit Court, in the Dublin Circuit Court, on a number of charges relating to the possession of controlled drugs, contrary to the provisions of the Misues of Drugs Act, 1977.

3

When arraigned, the Prosecutor pleaded guilty to Count No.9, which read as follows in the indictment:-

"Statement of Offence
4

Possession of a controlled drug, contrary to Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977.

Particulars of Offence
5

Trevor Bloomfield, on the 27th day of March, 1982, within the County of the City of Dublin, had in his possession a controlled drug, to wit, cannabis resin.

6

Having been convicted of this charge, the Prosecutor was given a suspended sentence of two years' imprisonment, and was ordered to pay a sum of £1000 towards the costs of the prosecution. The Director of Public Prosecutions entered a nolle prosequi in relation to the other charges against the Prosecutor, including a charge of possession of a controlled drug for the purpose of supplying it to another, contrary to Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977, and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations, 1979.

7

The Prosecutor now seeks an Order of Certiorari to quash the Order of the Circuit Court Judge, on three grounds, which are as follows:-

8

(a) That there is no power to convict or sentence on indictment in respect of possession of a controlled drug contrary to Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977, where such possession is for the personal use of the Accused

9

(b) That the sentence imposed exceeded the learned trial Judge's sentencing powers under Section 27 (1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977, by virtue of his finding of fact that the Applicant's possession of a controlled drug was for his personal use

10

(c) That the Order of Conviction is bad on its face and void for failing to show whether the learned trial Judge found that possession was for personal use or other than for personal use and whether sentence was being imposed under Section 27 (1)(a) or Section 27 (1)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977.

11

A conditional Order of certiorari was granted by Mr. Justice Barrington on the aforesaid three grounds on the 3rd November, 1983. On the hearing of the Motion to make absolute the conditional Order, notwithstanding cause shown, it appeared to me that the arguments advanced on behalf of the Prosecutor did not proceed exactly along the lines indicated by the grounds recited in the conditional Order.

12

Mr. Carney for the Prosecutor contended that there was a clear intention evinced by the Act to deal in a different way with offences involving the controlled drug known as cannabis resin, and the other controlled drugs, and that this emerged clearly when one considered the provisions regarding penalties as found in Section 27 of the Act. He further submitted that a charge brought under Section 3 of the Act was essentially a charge of unlawful possession of a controlled drug for the personal use of the accused, and that the offences of possession for sale or supply to another were dealt with by Section 15 of the Act, and that the reference in Section 27 (1)(a) to possession for personal use was mere surplusage, as it was already implied in relation to a charge brought under Section 3 of the Act. On...

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2 cases
  • State (Boyle) v Nolan
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