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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.
Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.
HMA v Ethan McDade
Jun 2, 2023
On sentencing, Lord Clark made the following remarks:
“Ethan McDade, by the verdict of the jury you were found guilty of the charge of anally raping your then partner, having pinned her down on a bed. This took place in January 2018. You were both aged 15 at the time.
At the last hearing, you were advised that you are subject to the notification requirements in terms of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. You will remain subject to those requirements for an indefinite period.
I note from what is said in the Criminal Justice Social Work Report (CJSWR) that you continue to deny that you committed this offence. In the evidence, you and the complainer gave very different accounts of what took place and the jury accepted the complainer’s evidence.
I also note that it was a single offence and that you have no previous convictions.
But rape is a serious crime and has potentially long-term consequences for the victim (as is made clear in the victim impact statement that I have read).
I have had regard to the contents of the CJSWR. I have also considered what Mr McAteer has said about the options before me for sentencing and all of his reasons for a non-custodial sentence being appropriate. However, the serious nature of the offence in this case, rape, of a 15 year old girl, leads me to conclude that a custodial sentence is required.
In reaching that view, I have considered the terms of the guideline on Sentencing Young People. On immaturity, one factor is where the person may be less able to think about what could happen as a result of their actions, including the impact on any victim. It does seem clear from the information before me that you had some degree of immaturity when aged 15. On rehabilitation, given your background and how your life has developed since the offence, I am satisfied that there is real scope for rehabilitation.
If this crime had been committed by an adult, the sentence would have been 5 years in prison.
As a consequence of you having some degree of immaturity at the time, and your clear potential for rehabilitation, following the guideline on Sentencing Young People that sentence period will be reduced.
Taking the whole circumstances into account, I shall impose a custodial sentence of 3 years, to be served in a Young Offenders Institution, starting from today’s date.”
2 June 2023