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Sentence of life imprisonment with a review after ten years was not too severe for a minor who pleaded guilty to murder

By: Colm Scott Byrne BL

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Court of Appeal dismisses appeal against the severity of sentence and upholds decision of the Central Criminal Court to impose a sentence of life imprisonment with a review after ten years for a minor who pleaded guilty to murder, on the grounds that: (a) the sentencing judge was entitled to find that the bringing of the knife to the scene was a significant aggravating factor on the evidence before him, which meant that this was offending of such seriousness that it had to be met with a significant custodial sentence; (b) significant credit was given to the appellant for the manner in which he met the case from the outset; (c) the sentencing judge took into sufficient account each of these relevant mitigating factors; and (d) the sentence imposed did not fall outside the available range of sentences.

Woulfe J (nem diss): Appeal of severity of sentence - criminal law - sentencing of minors - appellant had been sentenced to life imprisonment with a review after 10 years after pleading guilty to murder - the appellant is a minor - the plea was entered by the appellant at an early stage of the proceedings, without the taking of a trial date and in advance of any disclosure being sought - the appellant had killed his friend following a dispute - there was an altercation and the appellant stabbed the deceased - the appellant was 16 years of age at the time of the murder - whether the sentencing judge gave excessive weight to the aggravating factors in the case - whether the trial judge failed to have regard to a number of mitigating factors or gave inadequate weight to certain other mitigating factors - appeal dismissed.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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