A judge may decide to publish a statement after passing sentence on an offender in cases where there is particular public interest; where a case has legal significance; or where providing the reasons for the decision might assist public understanding.
Please note that statements may include graphic details of offences when it is necessary to fully explain the reasons behind a sentencing decision.
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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 Ryan Grant Steehouder
Jan 23, 2024
When imposing sentence his Lordship made the following sentencing statement:
“Ryan Grant Steehouder you have been convicted of serious sexual and other offences against a woman. Charge 3 was a rape where you imposed you will upon her by using violence. Charge 5 related to a contravention of section 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2009, the circumstances of which were degrading for the complainer. Charge 1 involved behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards her on various occasions over the course of 4 years, contrary to section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. Charge 2 involved a series of assaults to her injury committed over a period of nearly 3 years, and one of them caused danger to her life by compressing her throat and restricting her breathing so that she lost consciousness. Your behaviour towards the complainer was violent, abusive and controlling.
This is not the first occasion upon which you have been convicted of abusive and violent behaviour towards a partner. On 29 May 2015 you were convicted of a contravention of section 38 of the 2010 Act. The circumstances were set out in part i. of the docket to the indictment. More significantly, on 11 August 2022 you were convicted of a contravention of section 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 for which you were sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment. That offence involved the complainer referred to in parts ii. and iii. of the docket. At that time you were also convicted of other offences, including two assaults, for which you were sentenced to a further 3 months’ imprisonment.
I have listened to all that has been said on your behalf. I have had the advantage of considering the Criminal Justice Social Work Report which has been prepared. It is clear that, despite your conviction, you continue to deny the charges and you assert that the complainer in charges 1, 2, 3 and 5 and the complainer who gave evidence in relation to the matters described in parts ii. and iii. of the docket have been untruthful and have conspired to give false evidence against you.
It does you no credit that you refuse to accept responsibility for what you have done and that you cast aspersions on the integrity of the complainers. You appear to have little or no insight into the effects which your conduct has had. It is clear from the Victim Impact Statement prepared by the complainer in charges 1, 2, 3 and 5 that there have been serious consequences for her, some of which are continuing.
I shall impose a separate sentence for charge 1 because the maximum sentence for that offence is 5 years’ imprisonment - which is less than the in cumulo sentence which I am going to impose for the other three offences.
The sentence which I impose on charge 1 is 12 months’ imprisonment.
In relation to charges 2, 3, and 5 I am satisfied, having considered your previous convictions, the evidence at the trial, and the terms of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report, that an extended sentence is necessary in order to protect women, and in particular possible future partners, from serious harm from you. I consider that the period for which you would be subject to licence if an extended sentence was not imposed would not be adequate to protect that section of the public from serious harm from you.
In the whole circumstances the in cumulo extended sentence I impose on charges 2, 3, and 5 is 8 years’ imprisonment, made up of a custodial term of 6 years and an extension period of 2 years.
Having considered the totality of the sentences I am going to make the two sentences concurrent. Both will be backdated to 27 November 2023, when you were remanded in custody in respect of these offences.
As a result of your conviction, you are subject to the notification requirements in the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Given the sentence just imposed, you are subject to those notification requirements under Part 2 of that Act for an indefinite period.
The complainer in charges 1, 2, 3 and 5 deserves to be protected from you. Accordingly, I also impose a non-harassment order. You must refrain from approaching or contacting her, or attempting to approach or contact her indefinitely."
23 January 2024