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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 Alex Beck
Jun 14, 2023
On sentencing Lord Tyre made the following remarks in court:
"You were convicted after trial of a charge of rape, consisting of two separate occasions when you had penetrative sexual intercourse with the complainer, without her consent, in your room. You were however acquitted of a further charge of rape of the same person, which was alleged to have occurred some hours later.
I have read the Criminal Justice Social Work report and listened to what has been said on your behalf by Mr McSporran today. Your position remains that all of the sexual activity that took place was consensual, although you recognise that you may have been rougher than the complainer wanted and that you had not confirmed that this was what she was wanting.
Clearly the jury did not accept that version of events, and it seems to me that their verdict must be interpreted as an acceptance of the complainer’s evidence that she did not consent to the episode of sexual intercourse narrated in charge 1, that she told you so, and that, whether as a result of having had too much to drink or otherwise, you carried on regardless. That, of course, is rape, and I must sentence you accordingly.
Rape is rightly regarded by our society as one of the most serious offences that can be committed, and despite your lack of analogous previous convictions, and the fact that you have not previously served a custodial sentence, I am satisfied that in this case only a sentence of imprisonment is appropriate to reflect the seriousness of the offence. There are however factors that I can take into account in mitigation.
You have no record of analogous criminal convictions and you have been assessed as posing only a moderate risk of sexual re-offending. You have expressed a willingness to co-operate in programme work while in custody and after release to reduce the risk of further offending.
I have also had regard to the Scottish Sentencing Council’s guideline on sentencing young people. The guideline makes clear that in assessing culpability, I should have regard to the fact that due to intellectual and emotional maturity a young person is generally less able to exercise good judgement when making decisions, may be less able to think about what could happen as a result of their actions, including the impact on the victim, and may have greater potential to change than an older person. To reflect this, the sentence imposed on a young person should be lower than the sentence that would be imposed on an older person for the same offence. You were aged 21 when the offence was committed and the sentence that I am about to impose is intended to follow this guideline.
Having regard to all of the circumstances, I sentence you to imprisonment for a period of four years, backdated to 16 May 2023. I see no need to make any provision for supervision after your release.
You will also remain on the Sex Offenders’ List for an indefinite period.
I strongly advise you to take full advantage of the opportunities that will be available to you to ensure that you never find yourself in this situation again."
14 June 2023