AG v Swinburne

CourtRoyal Court
JudgeF.C. Hamon,O.B.E.,Jurats Bullen,King
Judgment Date25 June 2004
Neutral Citation[2004] JRC 113
Date25 June 2004

[2004] JRC 113


(Samedi Division)


F.C. Hamon, Esq., O.B.E., Commissioner, and Jurats Bullen and King.

The Attorney General
William Stuart Swinburne

C.M.M. Yates, Esq., Crown Advocate.

Advocate R. Juste for the Defendant.


A.G. v Gaffney (5th June, 1995) Jersey Unreported; [1995/101].

Whelan: Aspects of Sentencing in the Superior Courts of Jersey (2nd Ed'n): paras 376, 380, 402, 408.

Wylie v A.G. (17th January 2002) Jersey Unreported; [2002/13].

R v Webbe & Ors [2002] 1 Cr. App. R (S) 82.

A.G. v Munks (8th October, 1999) Jersey Unreported; [1999/168A].

A.G. v Mallon & Ors (2nd August, 1996) Jersey Unreported; [1996/143].

A.G. v de la Haye & Anor (15th December, 1995) Jersey Unreported; [1995/248].

A.G. v Buesnel [1996] JLR 265.

Bernard [1997] 1 Cr. App. R. (S) 135.

Second Indictment

1 count of: breaking and entering and larceny (Count 5)

1 count of: possession of a controlled drug, contrary to article 6(1) of the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978.

Count 6 (diamorphine).

[The counts on the first indictment and counts 1–4 on the second indictment relate to co-defendants who were sentenced by the Royal Court on 28 th May 2004: See [2004] JRC 093].

Age: 47

Plea: Guilty

Details of Offence:

Accused broke into Spearmel Stores with others whom he refused to identify. During break-in cigarettes, alcohol, phone cards and cash worth a total of £5385.00 were stolen.

Swinburne admitted trying to break into a safe on the premises. When later arrested he was carrying a personal dose of heroin. Reports suggested very high risk of re-offending.

Sentencing delayed so that health assessment could be undertaken in Southampton.

Details of Mitigation:

Immediate guilty plea; wrote own indictment to break-in; co-operation, difficult background with long term substance addiction; liver and lung disease — transplant required in 3 to 5 years.

Previous Convictions:

Bad record, including 10 previous convictions for break and entry.

Second Indictment

Count 5: 18 months' imprisonment.

Count 6: 6 months' imprisonment, consecutive.

Sentence and Observations of Court:

Count 5: 15 months' imprisonment.

Count 6: 3 months' imprisonment, concurrent.

Prison unavoidable, but Court felt able to reduce conclusions slightly.


The defendant is a heroin addict. Because it was discovered that he had severe medical problems, he was not sentenced with his two co-accused on 28 th May 2004. The discovery that he might need a liver transplant within a relatively short time has come, according to Miss Juste, as a shock to him and that is understandable. There has been delay, not only because of the medical prognosis but also because the defendant instructed his new lawyers to attend a meeting with the police where he, quite literally, wrote his own indictment, and that meeting was also delayed because of the Christmas period.


The learned Crown Advocate has explained however, that whilst the break-in at the grocery store might have been unplanned, it became sophisticated once Swinburne was inside. We must read the conclusions of the case of Bernard [1997] 1 Cr. App. R. (S) 135, a case passed...

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