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.

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

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HMA v Nathan Chung

 

Nov 17, 2021

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lord Boyd sentenced Nathan Chung to four years’ imprisonment after the offender was convicted of repeatedly raping a young woman.

 

On sentencing, Lord Boyd made the following statement from Court:

“You have been convicted of the repeated rape of a young woman, who was someone with whom you have formed a relationship. The libel in the charge starts just a few days before your 18th birthday and continues for two years ending just short of your 20th birthday.

It is clear from the victim statement that the behaviour to which you subjected her has had a lasting effect on her.

You continue to deny your guilt. The social work report suggests that you lack empathy with your victim and that you are immature. You are not suitable for inclusion in the Tay Project.

Both the social work report and the assessment for the Tay Project characterise the offending as involving a breach of trust. I do not accept that description. You were both of the same age and in a relationship. You had no position of trust or authority over her.

You are assessed as a low risk of recidivism and a moderate risk of sexual re-offending. I suspect that assessment may be on the high side. Nevertheless I have to bear in mind the protection of the public as a factor in sentencing.

I have listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf. You are a young man with no previous convictions. You have a supportive family and a network of friends. You have a good work record and have the ambition to take over your parents’ business. I have no doubt that you have the skills and ability to make something of your life.

I take into account your family background, the fact that your childhood was somewhat lonely given your parents’ work commitments and your mental health, both at the time of the offending and more recently.

Your counsel has emphasised the fact that you were young when this offending occurred, that you were immature at the time and that you have the capacity for rehabilitation. I think it is correct that you were to an extent immature and that you do have the capacity for rehabilitation and I take these factors into account. Although not yet in force I have paid regard to the factors in the Guideline on the Sentencing of Young Persons.

Nevertheless this offending occurred almost entirely when you were an adult; it was not a one off but offending which continued despite protestations from your victim as to the effect on her. As she herself said in one of her texts to you, she needed to be shown that you didn’t think that she was an object.

Taking all of the factors into account I shall sentence you to four years imprisonment. The sentence shall be backdated to 15 October 2021.

As a result of your conviction and the sentence imposed you are subject to the notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.

The clerk of court will serve upon you a notice confirming those requirements with which you must comply.”

17 November 2021