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.

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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 Jake Hawkins

 

Aug 25, 2021

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lady Poole sentenced Jake Hawkins to an extended sentence of nine years imprisonment after the offender was found guilty of rape.

 

The first part of the sentence is an immediate period of six years in custody. 

On sentencing Lady Poole made the following statement in Court:

“Jake Hawkins, on 24 June 2021, in the High Court at Edinburgh, you were convicted by the jury of six charges of rape, one charge of sexual assault and one charge of assault.

You committed a series of sexual offences between 2013 and 2017 against a number of different victims. Your victims were all vulnerable in various ways, such as being asleep, intoxicated, drugged, young, or alone with you. Your victims all knew you. They deserved to be treated by you with respect and kindness. Instead you took advantage of them for your own sexual gratification. As you said yourself in a text to one of them: “I gave into my lust and threw your feelings out the window”. You seemed to think that the sexual acts you committed might be enjoyable for some of your victims. It was clear from their evidence that what you did was in fact unwelcome, frightening, painful or degrading. 

I have read a victim impact statement from one of your victims. It is clear she has struggled to come to terms with your offending against her, and your actions have had serious consequences for her. The criminal justice social work report available to me finds that physical, sexual and psychological harm was caused to your victims, and the psychological harm suffered is likely to be pervasive and enduring.

The criminal justice social work report also states that you do not accept accountability for your offending.  You struggle to identify the impact of your behaviour on your victims. Denial, minimisation and blame of a partner are common features of your approach to your offending. The outcome of risk assessment is that you are assessed as high or medium risk, depending on the tool applied. The report found that you had caused serious harm to your victims and imminent serious harm would continue to be a concern in your intimate relationships (whether fleeting or otherwise).

I have listened carefully to the submissions of your counsel in mitigation and I have taken into account all of the points advanced on your behalf in deciding the appropriate disposal in your case. I note your supportive family and your record of employment and study. In particular, I note that you have no previous convictions.

An important factor in determining how to sentence you is your comparative youth at the time of your offending. Although you are now 26, you were between 18 and 22 at the time of the offences of which you were convicted. You appear to have been immature, with an underdeveloped sense of responsibility and a lack of experience. Some of your offending appears to have been impetuous and reckless. You do not appear to have offended since 2017. All of this may indicate that you have capacity for change and development into a responsible adult with a healthy personality. There appear to be prospects for your reintegration and rehabilitation into society.  

However, the offences of which you have been convicted are of the utmost seriousness. Rape, sexual and other assaults will not be tolerated in our society. 

Because of the gravity of the crimes of which you have been convicted, a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal in your case, even though you have not previously been imprisoned. I sentence you on a cumulo basis for your offences, to reflect the course of conduct the jury found to have occurred. Given the nature of your offending, the number of victims and time period over which you offended, I am satisfied that the period for which you would otherwise have been on licence would not be adequate to protect the public from serious harm from you when you are eventually released. Accordingly, I impose on you an extended sentence of nine years. That sentence is in two parts.  The first part of the sentence is an immediate period of six years in custody. But this immediate period in custody is not the end of your sentence. The second part of your sentence will be served in the community. From the date of your release, you will be under licence for an extension period of three years. The conditions of your licence will be fixed by the Scottish Ministers. If, during this extension period, you fail to comply with the conditions of your licence, it may be revoked; and you may be returned to custody for a further period in respect of this case. The court also has power to deal with you if you commit another offence after your release and while you are on licence. I should add that I have not included any extra period for the aggravation in charge 10, as I consider it is already reflected in the sentence I have selected.

Your sentence will be backdated to 24 June 2021 when you were first remanded in custody.

As a result of the sentence I have imposed, the period for which you are subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 is indefinite. Your name has been forwarded for inclusion on the lists of persons deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.”

25 August 2021