SENTENCING STATEMENTS

 

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When deciding a sentence, a judge must deal with the offence that the offender has been convicted of, taking into account the unique circumstances of each particular case. The judge will carefully consider the facts that are presented to the Court by both the prosecution and by the defence.

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HMA v Kevin Turner

 

Jun 8, 2021

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lord Braid sentenced Kevin Turner to an extended sentence of 12 years after the offender was found guilty of an assault with intent to rape on a tourist.

 

The custodial term of the sentence is 6 years to be followed by the extension period also of 6 years. If the offender breaches any of the set conditions during the extension period he is liable to be recalled to serve out the whole of the sentence in custody.

On sentencing, Lord Braid made the following statement in Court:

“Kevin Turner, you were convicted by the jury of assault with intent to rape, charge 12 on the indictment, and of threatening and abusive behaviour in terms of charge 13. As far as the assault with intent to rape is concerned, the victim was a Japanese tourist, who was a stranger to you. You forced your way into her accommodation, assaulted her by seizing her neck and pinning her against a wall, then you pushed her on to the floor and attempted to remove her lower clothing, repeatedly demanding sex, all done in an attempt to rape her. On her evidence, the incident was a sustained one, and you were in her flat for up to an hour before she eventually prevailed upon you to leave. There must have been some element of planning, inasmuch as you knocked on the victim’s door, in order to gain access to the flat, clearly with the intention from the outset of attempting to have non-consensual sexual intercourse with her.

Although, according to the Criminal Justice Social Work Report, you profess to have little memory of that offence and consequently you can offer no real explanation for it, it appears that you were preoccupied with sex at that time. You were also abusing alcohol and drugs. You are assessed as presenting a high risk of future sexual and violent reoffending.

As one would expect the incident has had lasting consequences for the victim. While she has now recovered from the physical injuries which she sustained, she says in her victim impact statement that she is still suffering from daily flashbacks which I can readily accept, since the assault, which took place in accommodation where she was entitled to feel safe, must have been terrifying in the extreme.

As far as the other offence is concerned, charge 13, by comparison it is less serious but has some features in common with the assault, in that you approached the victim who was also a stranger to you, suggested a sexual encounter. I find that there was a significant sexual aspect to that offence.

You have accrued several previous convictions, most notably two of assault which were domestically aggravated, in 2008 and 2017.

In mitigation your counsel has referred to various issues in your life which have never been addressed and which, while they do not excuse your conduct may go some way towards explaining it. It is to be hoped that these issues can be addressed during the sentence I am about to impose.

I take all that has been said on your behalf, and in the criminal justice social work report, into account, but, as you recognise, the gravity of your offending is such that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence, and a significant one at that. Dealing firstly with charge 12, the assault with intent to rape, it is aggravated by the fact it took place in the victim’s home. Having regard to the nature of that incident, and to the terms of the report, I am satisfied that the ordinary conditions of release will be insufficient to protect the public from serious harm from you. I am therefore going to pass an extended sentence. This will be in two parts, a custodial element and an extension period after your release from custody, during which you will be subject to a licence, the conditions of which will be set by the Scottish Ministers. Breach of any of these conditions will make you liable to be recalled to serve out the whole of the sentence in custody.  However, I hope that you will take the opportunities this sentence will give you to address the issues which have contributed to your offending.

The total extended sentence is 12 years. The custodial term is 6 years. That will be followed by the extension period of 6 years. This sentence is backdated to 10 May 2021.

In consequence of this sentence you will be subject to the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period. 

As far as charge 13 is concerned, there is no alternative to a custodial sentence in light of the sentence just passed. On that charge I will impose a concurrent sentence of 4 months imprisonment, also backdated to 10 May 2021.”

8 June 2021