SENTENCING STATEMENTS

 

A judge may decide to publish a statement after passing sentence on an offender in cases where there is particular public interest; where a case has legal significance; or where providing the reasons for the decision might assist public understanding.

Please note that statements may include graphic details of offences when it is necessary to fully explain the reasons behind a sentencing decision.  

Follow us if you wish to receive alerts as soon as statements are published. 

Statements are removed after around 12 months, but may be available on request. Please email judicialcomms@scotcourts.gov.uk

The independence of the judiciary is essential to safeguard people’s rights under law - enabling judges to make decisions impartially based solely on evidence and law, without interference or influence from the government or politicians.

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.

For more information about how judges decide sentences; what sentences are available; and matters such as temporary release, see the Scottish Sentencing Council website.

Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.

Read more about civil judgments.

HMA v Tobias Davies

 

Jun 23, 2021

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lord Boyd of Duncansby imposed an extended sentence of 10 years on Tobias Davies after the offender was found guilty of rape and domestic abuse.

 

The custodial part of the sentence is 8 years and the extended part is 2 years.

On sentencing, Lord Boyd made the following statement in Court: “You have been convicted after trial of two charges of rape and 6 charges which in various forms involve domestic abuse. When you gave evidence you effectively accepted that you had abused the two complainers, though with some differences of detail.

You maintained however that you had not raped either woman. You continue to deny your guilt on these charges. Yet it is clear to me on the evidence that you sought to dominate and control the women and that sex was a right to which you felt entitled.

So far as the first complainer was concerned she told you that she did not wish you in her bed. You ignored that. She also made it clear that she did not want to have sex. It was apparent from her evidence that having actively resisted you for a good part of the night she allowed intercourse to happen only because she knew her daughter was getting up for school and she did not want her to hear what was happening.

In the case of the second complainer she said that although she would tell you she did not want sex you would not accept it and she would have sex with you only to keep the peace.

In both cases it is obvious that consent in the form of free and active agreement was conspicuously missing.

With both women the abuse was persistent, threatening and alarming.

You assaulted the first complainer on more than one occasion. You trashed her flat. You constantly telephoned, texted and messaged her and her mother. And you involved other people and got them to call on her.

In the case of the second complainer you engaged in a course of conduct which involved repeated telephoning and messaging with threats of violence and you called repeatedly at her home address putting her into a state of fear and alarm.

Offences of these nature having a psychological impact which endures long after any physical injury has healed. I have read the victim statement from the first complainer and it is obvious that your conduct throughout the relationship continues to adversely affect her quality of life.

You have a record of previous offending which by my calculation involves no fewer than 8 convictions of a domestic nature.

Two issues are of particular concern. In the first place your record includes breaches of court orders.

Secondly, the convictions in 2018 relate to the first complainer. It is clear that for at least part of the time covered by the offences involving her you were subject not only to a supervision order but also a non-harassment order.

Accordingly while I will impose non-harassment orders I am not confident in their ability on their own to protect the women. For that reason, and having regard to the terms of the social work report including the risk assessments I intend to impose an extended sentence.

That will mean that during the extended period if you commit another offence you may be returned to prison to serve all or part of the balance of the extended sentence before you start the new sentence.

I have taken into account all that has been said on your behalf. I note that you were the victim of assault in 2017 in which you were struck over the head. You appear to have had symptoms which were consistent with PTSD. The first complainer accepted that your behaviour towards her appeared to change after the assault.

That cannot be the whole reason for the abuse; I note that you have a number of convictions for domestic offending which predate the assault.

You also impressed the social worker with your expressions of shame and remorse for the non-sexual offending. That is consistent with the evidence on these matters that you gave in court and I take that into consideration. I also have regard to your upbringing as narrated in the report which cannot have been easy.

I accept what your counsel says about the conclusion of the report which does show some cause for optimism.

In the end however these are serious charges. As well as punishing you I have to have regard for the safety of the public and in particular women with whom you may have a relationship.

In respect of charges 3 and 6 I shall impose an extended sentence of 7 years imprisonment on each charge of which 5 years shall be the custodial part and 2 years extended.

On charge 3 I do not intend to impose any additional sentence in respect of the aggravation because I consider that the abuse of your partner is sufficiently covered by the sentence imposed on the other charges.

On charges 1, 2 4 and 5 I shall impose a cumulative sentence of 3 years imprisonment. Again the aggravation in respect of charge 4 is sufficiently covered by the sentence I have imposed on these charges.

In respect of charges 7 and 8 I shall impose a cumulative sentence of 2 years imprisonment.

The sentences on charges 3 and 6 shall run concurrently. The sentences on charges 1, 2, 4 and 5 and on charges 7 and 8 shall run concurrently but consecutive to the sentences on the charges 3 and 6. The effect is that you will serve an extended sentence of 10 years of which the custodial part shall be 8 years with 2 years extended.

The sentence is backdated to 3rd September 2019.”

The court made non-harassment orders for indefinite periods in respect of both complainers. Mr Davies is also subject to the notification requirement in Part II of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.

23 June 2021