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 Scott Kelly

 

Oct 22, 2021

At the High Court in Edinburgh today Lord Boyd sentenced Scott Kelly to 49 months imprisonment after the offender was found guilty of rape and assault

On sentencing Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:

"You have been convicted of rape. In the course of consensual sexual activity, for some unexplained reason you grabbed the complainer’s neck and compressed it to the point that she could not breathe. She was crying. She fought to try and get you off her but you continued to penetrate her, by this time clearly without her consent.

Later you texted a girl who was known to the complainer, whom you had never met but with whom you had struck up a relationship on Instagram. In that text you complained that the complainer had started crying during sex but then sent a second text saying that you probably shouldn’t have choked her. Your explanation that the second text was only to make light of the first was implausible and was clearly not accepted by the jury. 

Not only did you indulge in sexual violence you went on to humiliate your victim by texting someone who was known to her with intimate details of your sex life. The person you sent the messages to told the court that she was shocked and thought it was horrible. She blocked you from her account.

I have read the victim statement and it is clear that this has had a substantial and lasting impact on the complainer.

I have read the criminal justice social work report. It does you no favours. You show no empathy with your victim. Indeed you see yourself as the victim of an effort by the complainer to ruin your reputation. 

I have listened carefully to what counsel has said on your behalf. You are a young man with a bright future and a good work record. I have read the references that have been provided to me. They are impressive. You are clearly someone held in high regard by both your peers and by older members of the community.

Together they paint a picture of a pleasant well-mannered, committed and respectful young man, who had and, I hope in future, has the potential to be a good and useful member of society. You have no previous convictions. You come from a supportive family and it is a tragedy that you find yourself in the High Court as a convicted rapist. I take all of that into account.

On the assault, charge 3, I shall admonish you. On charge 2, the rape charge, I am required by law to take into account the aggravation of the offence as involving the abuse of your partner.

Here, although it is accepted that you were at the time the complainer’s partner it was a very much on/off relationship. Indeed there had been a gap of 6 weeks immediately prior to the offence. In those circumstances I shall limit the period of time in prison which is attributable to aggravation.

Balancing all these factors I shall impose a sentence of 49 months imprisonment, of which one month shall be attributable to the aggravation. The sentence is backdated to 24 September 2021."