The Attorney General v Michael Richard Hahessy

CourtRoyal Court
Judgment Date16 November 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] JRC 232
Date16 November 2001

[2001] JRC 232


(Samedi Division)


Sir Philip Bailhache, Bailiff, and Jurats de Potter, and Le Breton.

The Attorney General
Michael Richard Hahessy.

A.D. Robinson, Crown Advocate.

Advocate S.E. Fitz for the accused.


AG v Le Feuvre (24th April 1996) Jersey Unreported; [1996/79].

AG v Mallet (2000) JLR 155.

Mallet v AG (2000) JLR 256 C of A.

1 count of: Grave and criminal assault.

Age: 38.

Plea: Guilty

Details of Offence:

The Defendant committed an unprovoked assault on his common law partner of some 12 years, whilst she was in bed in the early hours of the morning. He struck her on the head with a rolling pin and attacked her with a steak knife which had a serrated edge. The wounds included a deep laceration to the victim's hand and there were also a number of less serious stab wounds. The assault appeared to have been unpremeditated and the result of a loss of self control following the build up of tension throughout the course of the day. The Defendant was under the influence of alcohol although not excessively so. He had also taken cannabis. The assault was witnesses by the victim's 15 year old daughter.

Details of Mitigation:

The Defendant had no prior convictions of relevance and did not seem to have a predisposition towards violence. He had been in a supportive and caring relationship with the victim for 12 years. Exceptionally, both the victim and her daughter wrote letters to the Court pleading for his release and confirming that the attack was completely out of character. During police interview, the Defendant was at a loss to explain his actions and expressed remorse throughout. He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. The Defence did not take exception to the length of sentence proposed by the Crown but contended that a sentence of imprisonment would cause the victim and her daughter more suffering. The reports were not supportive of the making of a Probation Order. The Defence sought the making of a Community Service Order in the exceptional circumstances of the case.


Count 1: 2 years' imprisonment. (4 year's starting point).

Sentence and Observations of Court:

The Court regarded the commission of the offence in the home and in the presence of the daughter as being aggravating features. Nevertheless, whatever caused the Defendant to lose his self control, his actions were entirely out of character. A sentence of 2 years' imprisonment would have been right and the Crown's conclusions were not to be criticised at all. However, with some hesitation, the Court's conclusion was that community service would serve both to punish the Defendant and spare the victim further distress. The Defendant was warned by the Court to abstain from alcohol and specifically told that re-offending would likely lead...

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