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 Dillon Anderson

 

Oct 12, 2021

At the High Court sitting in Edinburgh, Lady Poole sentenced Dillon Anderson to an extended sentence of 13 years after the offender was found guilty of raping 4 different people.

 

The custody part of the sentence is 9 years with an extension of 4 years on licence in the community.

On sentencing, Lady Poole made the following statement in Court:

“Dillon Anderson you were convicted by the jury at Edinburgh High Court of raping four different victims.

You are only 22 years old. Nevertheless you are responsible for appalling abuse of females between 2014 and 2020. Your first victim was raped by you when you were 15 years old and she was 14. Your offending behaviour escalated over the years. Three other females you formed relationships with were raped by you on multiple occasions. The sexual violence you perpetrated is disturbing. One of your victims spoke to losing consciousness because of you compressing her neck. When she came round, there were times you were having sex with her. There were other times when she came to, and you said you thought she’d died and laughed, or you were checking her pulse because you thought she might have died. Your restriction of her breathing endangered her life and caused injuries to her, including her eye. Another of your victims described her neck being gripped by you so severely she couldn’t take breaths or speak properly, blood rushed to her face, she felt she was about to pass out, and she struggled to get your hands off her neck but was unable to. These were terrifying experiences. 

I have read victim impact statements. Your victims suffered grievously at your hands, and their contact with you has left them with long lasting emotional scars. They are to be commended for having the courage to come forward, and go through the difficult experience of giving evidence about what happened to them. 

I have considered the criminal justice social work report that I ordered. The report assesses you as posing a high risk of sexual and violence reconviction, and a high risk of harm to any female with whom you enter into an intimate relationship. You continue to minimise your behaviour. 

I have listened carefully to the submissions of your counsel in mitigation, the statement you have written for the court, and a letter of support. I note your troubled background, disrupted schooling, adverse life events, and previous mental health issues. I also note your history of work and your desire to study at university. I have taken into account all of the points advanced on your behalf in determining sentence.  You have no previous convictions for sexual offending, but you do have previous convictions involving two of your victims in this case, including stalking, and for breaching bail.  

An important factor in determining how to sentence you is your age, at the time of your offending and now. You were aged between 15 and 20 years old at the time of your offences. You were immature, had an underdeveloped sense of responsibility, and lacked experience. It is possible you have capacity for change. You may yet evolve into a responsible adult who no longer offends. Accordingly, as well as factors such as protection of the public, retribution and deterrence, I take into account prospects for your reintegration and rehabilitation into society. 

I sentence you on a cumulo basis to reflect the course of conduct which the jury found to be established. You have never before been sentenced to detention or imprisonment. Nevertheless, given the nature and gravity of the crimes of which you have been convicted, I do not consider any other method of dealing with you other than a custodial sentence is appropriate. 

I am satisfied that unless I impose an extended sentence on you, the period for which you would otherwise have been on licence when you are eventually released would be inadequate to protect the public from serious harm from you. I therefore impose an extended sentence of 13 years on you. This sentence is in two parts. The first part of the sentence is an immediate period in custody of 9 years, which will be backdated to 8 September 2021 - the date you were remanded in custody after conviction. I have taken into account the bail and partner aggravations in charges 5 and 8, and the period you spent on remand of nearly 8 months at an earlier stage of this case, but I have taken the view that the periods I would have added and subtracted to take account of these factors cancel each other out. Accordingly, the custodial part of your sentence is 9 years but that is not the end of your sentence. The second part of your sentence is an extension period of 4 years which will be served in the community. You will be under licence, and the conditions of that 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.

As a result of the sentence I have imposed you are subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period, and your name has been added to the lists of persons deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.

I also impose non-harassment orders on you. Your victims have suffered long term effects from what you did to them, and deserve to be protected from you. I therefore make orders that you must refrain from approaching or contacting or attempting to approach or contact your four victims for a period of 25 years.”

12 October 2021