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PF Edinburgh v Rufus McLean


Mar 16, 2023

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, Sheriff Matthew Auchincloss sentenced Rufus McLean to complete 120 hours of unpaid work after he pled guilty to domestic abuse. A 10 year Non-Harrassment Order was also made in respect of the complainer.

On sentencing, Sheriff Auchincloss said:

“Rufus McLean, you pled guilty at a continued intermediate diet to an amended charge under section 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 of engaging in a course of behaviour which was abusive of your partner. The course of conduct took place between 1 April 2019 and 7 January 2021. Your behaviour included shouting and swearing, aggressive behaviour with elements of physical contact, as well as behaviour of a controlling type. In assessing your culpability I accept that you may not have intended to cause harm. However, given the extended time period and nature of the behaviour it is clear that you were reckless as to whether harm would be caused and you should have known that there was a risk of harm from your behaviour. From the information available to me there can be no doubt this course of behaviour has caused significant harm to your former partner.

Taking account of these factors, your offending is serious, and the threshold for a custodial sentence has been crossed.  However, as you are both a first offender and being sentenced on summary complaint, you cannot be sent to prison unless the court considers that no other method of dealing with you is appropriate.

Further, as you are a young person, you have greater capacity to change and a sentence for any young person should seek to reduce the likelihood of that young person being stigmatised. 

I have had full regard to all of the reports made available to the court and the submissions made by Mr Smith. I recognise the dynamics of the relationship may have been difficult.  Both you and your former partner faced significant challenges during the relevant time period.  You have shown remorse and shame for your behaviour. You fully recognise the hurt and fear your behaviour has caused your ex-partner. In these circumstances I consider that there is an appropriate alternative to a custodial sentence.   

I am proposing to impose Community Payback Order with a single requirement that you carry out a number of hours of unpaid work or other activity. If convicted after trial, and you were not a young person in terms of the sentencing guideline, that would have been for 200 hours. Given you are a young person the starting point for any sentence should be lower.  For you that is 150 hours. The timing or your guilty plea means that will be further reduced to 120 hours.  You will have nine months to complete the hours.

The purpose of this sentence is for you to make amends to the community for your offending behaviour and it will give you the opportunity to further understand the consequences of that behaviour.

I did consider making a requirement that you undertake the Caledonian Men’s Programme. I am satisfied from the information in the supplementary Criminal Justice Social Work Report that you have completed work equivalent to that programme, so such a requirement is not necessary.

If you fail to comply with the requirement imposed in this Order, you will be reported back to this court and can be dealt with for that failure. If it is proved that you failed to comply without reasonable excuse with the terms the requirement, the court can revoke the order and deal with you as if the order had not been made.

I am also making a Non-Harassment Order that you do not contact or approach your former partner, named in the charge, in any way for a period of 10 years.”

16 March 2023