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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 Coran Michael Wells
Jun 13, 2023
On sentencing, Lady Poole told Wells:
“Coran Michael Wells, you were convicted of rape and sexual assault by the jury at Edinburgh High Court on 16 May 2023.
Your first victim was a vulnerable girl aged 17. You had just met her that day, and you sexually assaulted her on a sofa. Your second victim was a woman aged 39 at the time. She had taken you into her house and given you a place to sleep. She was in bed, intoxicated after taking substances, and in her words comatose. You had sexual intercourse with her when she was incapable of consenting. She had bruises on her body afterwards. You abused her trust. Both of your victims were distressed afterwards as a result of your unwanted behaviour. You committed both of these offences while you were on bail.
You are now 22-years-old. You were 20 at the time you committed these two offences. Already by that age you had amassed a significant number of previous convictions for a variety of offences - including threatening and abusive behaviour, vandalism, supply of drugs, theft, and breaches of bail. You have previously been sentenced to detention on numerous occasions, including a period of 18 months.
I have taken into account the criminal justice social work report prepared to assist me with sentencing you. I have also had regard to everything said on your behalf in mitigation, and that you have never before been convicted of sexual offences. I have taken into account your troubled upbringing and your own addiction problems.
You had been drinking or taking substances at the time of both of the offences, but that is an aggravating factor.
I have also taken into account the sentencing young persons guideline, because you are under 25. You lacked maturity at the time of your offending and did not exercise good judgement. It is possible you have a greater capacity for change and rehabilitation than an older person. Your previous record of convictions does not inspire confidence in your rehabilitation.
However, while you have been detained on remand in this case, you have obtained some qualifications and been involved with work. You gave evidence you have given up drugs while on remand. So there is hope you can reform and live a useful and law abiding life. I sincerely hope you choose to do so, but that is in your hands.
Nevertheless, a conviction for rape to injury and sexual assault must attract a significant prison sentence. Having regard to the nature and circumstances of your offending in this case, and your previous convictions, I consider that the criteria for an extended sentence are met.
The first part of your sentence will be custodial. This will be followed by an extension period in the community when you will be on licence on conditions fixed by the Scottish Ministers and under supervision. If you fail to comply with the conditions, the licence may be revoked and you may be returned to custody, and may also be sentenced for an offence committed while on licence.
The custodial part is 5 years, which is a cumulo sentence of 4 ½ years for the two charges of which you have been convicted, plus a 6 month period to reflect the bail aggravations to those charges. The extension period is 1 year.
Your sentence will be backdated to run from 29 June 2021 when you were first remanded.
As a result of that sentence you are subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period. Your name has also been added to the lists of persons deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.”
13 June 2023