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.
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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.
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Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.
HMA v Andrew Gaffney
Apr 28, 2022
On sentencing Judge Brown made the following statement in court:
"Andrew Gaffney the jury rejected your account that during the 4-day period mentioned in the charge you had consensual sex with the victim and accepted her evidence that you repeatedly raped her. Rape is plainly a serious crime but there are also a number of aggravating factors which increase the gravity of the crime in this case and which have to be taken into account in determining an appropriate sentence.
First, during the period mentioned in the charge you abducted the victim by detaining her in her flat and preventing her from escaping from you.
Second, you repeatedly assaulted her in numerous ways as described in the charge, including sexually assaulting her and striking her with a knife, leaving her severely injured with some 54 separate injuries covering her head and body.
Third, the offence was aggravated in terms of section 1 of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Sc) Act 2016 as it involved abuse of your partner and it was obvious from the evidence that you intended to cause her physical and psychological harm. It was entirely understandable that when giving evidence she questioned why you did these things to her, given that you were her partner.
Fourth, you were on bail at the time of the offence.
And fifth, you have previous convictions for similar offences against a partner, in particular a conviction in January 2017 for domestically aggravated assault to injury and domestically aggravated assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement, which resulted in a sentence of 27 months detention, and a further conviction that same month for domestically aggravated assault to injury, which resulted in a consecutive sentence of 8 months detention.
Various concerns about you are expressed in the criminal justice social work report, in particular about the level of hostility you exhibited towards the victim, the link between your misuse of alcohol and drugs and your offending, your recent convictions which I have already mentioned for offences involving significant violence against a partner and the escalation in that particular type of offending represented by this offence. Using a method of risk assessment based on factors which are unlikely to change, you are assessed as presenting a high risk of sexual re-offending.
I have taken into account everything said on your behalf.
Because of the gravity of this crime and your previous criminal record, the only appropriate disposal is a substantial period of imprisonment. I am imposing an extended sentence as I am satisfied that the period for which you would otherwise be on licence would not be adequate for the purpose of protecting the public from serious harm from you on your release from custody. That extended sentence is of 10 years, consisting of a custodial term of 7 years, backdated to 25 August 2020, and an extension period of 3 years.
In relation to the first part of the sentence, being 7 years’ imprisonment, 6 months are in respect of the aggravation under the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Sc) Act 2016. Due to the overall length of the sentence, I have not increased it in respect of the bail aggravation. The second part of your sentence will be served in the community. From the date of your release, you will be on licence for 3 years. The conditions of your licence will be fixed by the Scottish Ministers. If, during this 3-year period, you fail to comply with the conditions of your licence, the licence may be revoked and you may be returned to custody for a further period in respect of this case.
As a result of this conviction and sentence, you will be subject to the notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.
The Crown have made an application for a non-harassment order and I am satisfied that it is appropriate to make such an order. Accordingly I make a non-harassment order that you do not by any means approach or contact, or attempt to approach or contact, the victim for a period of 15 years."