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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 Steven Banks
Oct 18, 2023
On sentencing, Lord Young told Banks:
"Steven Banks, by a verdict of the jury, you were found guilty of the rape of a 16 year old girl when you were aged 27. The jury also found you guilty of the rape, attempted rape and various sexual assaults upon another girl when she was under the age of 13.
One of your victims in her police interview described you as 'sly, manipulative, vindictive'. Those words fit the picture presented by the evidence in this case. You groomed your first victim when she was a lonely, vulnerable teenager. She saw you as a friend who was sympathetic to her anxieties. In fact, you played on her vulnerability; arranged for her to visit your parents’ house; and there you attacked and raped her.
After you gained the confidence of your second victim, you arranged for her to stay overnight at your parents’ house where you sexually abused her, with that abuse including rape. She was aged 10 when the abuse started. You were aged 30 at that time. The sexual abuse continued over a period of about two years at different locations. You sought to hide what you had done by telling her that what happened was a secret. In relation to this charge, there was a gross breach of trust as well as a pattern of grooming.
I have been provided with a victim impact statement from your first victim and I am grateful that she had explained with such clarity the effects of your criminal actions upon her. There is almost no aspect of her life that has not been affected by the damage you caused. However, it is plain to see that she is a resilient young woman who has achieved much in her life since you last knew her, and she is determined not to let your criminal actions dictate her future. While I do not have a victim impact statement from the second victim, it is a reasonable assumption that the abuse which she suffered at your hands will have had long term damaging effects on her.
While you have no previous convictions for sexual offences, you do have a short but substantial criminal record. In 2008, you were convicted of being concerned in the supply of cocaine. You have a number of more minor offences in the period from 2015-2019 for threatening and abusive behaviour and assault. Of greatest significance, in September 2019, you were convicted in England of robbery.
I have read the CJSWR prepared in this case. You continue to deny your offending and, as a consequence, you show no remorse and accept no responsibility. I have taken into account all that has been said on your behalf by Mr Martin this morning. In particular, although my initial instinct in this case was to impose an extended sentence upon you, I have been persuaded by Mr Martin that the terms of the CJSWR fall somewhere short of meeting the statutory hurdle for such a sentence.
As the jury found that these offences formed part of a course of criminal conduct, I have decided to deal with them by way of a single cumulo sentence. You are currently serving a period of imprisonment imposed by an English court and so I must have regard to the totality principle to ensure that the combined effect of the different sentences will not be excessive. I have been advised that your earliest release date from the sentence you are currently serving is in September 2025. I propose to give effect to the totality principle by ordering that the sentence which I impose today will run from today’s date as opposed to from the expiry of the sentence imposed by the English court.
Given the gravity of the offences, including the gross breach of trust in relation to charge 2, and the harm caused to your young victims, a substantial custodial sentence is necessary. I sentence you to 11 years imprisonment which period will run from today’s date.
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.
I also impose non-harassment orders on you. Your victims deserve to be protected from you. I therefore make orders that you must refrain from approaching or contacting, or attempting to approach or contact the two victims identified in the charges and such orders are for an indefinite period."
18 October 2023