HMA v Shebli Alshebli

At the High Court in Glasgow today (11 November 2019), Lady Rae sentenced Shebli Alshebli to 7 years imprisonment after the offender was convicted of rape.

On sentencing, Lady Rae made the following statement in court: 

“You have been convicted of a very serious sexual charge whereby you took advantage of a lady while she was so intoxicated that she was incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse. This was a lady that you had met for the first time that night in a public house. From the CCTV footage shown to the jury, it was obvious how intoxicated your victim was as she was seen to be staggering while you led her outside into the street and then into a lane. In that lane you partially undressed your victim and then raped her, leaving her half naked and unconscious in a muddy pool of water.

You take no responsibility for what you did and in the criminal justice social work report it is recorded that you are claiming that you blacked out after leaving the public house with your victim and you now have no memory of what you did. That I do not believe.   

The evidence led in the course of the trial revealed that, after telling a passer-by who came upon you and the unconscious victim in the lane that what was happening was none of his business, you ran away from the locus. The knees of your trousers were seen to be stained with dirt. You then had sufficient foresight to change your clothes before going to another establishment where, less than two hours after the rape, you telephoned the police, asserting that you had been short-changed by a taxi driver. You were able to communicate with a police officer whom you told you had been drinking in Wishaw previously.  

From the information before me it appears that you take little or no responsibility for what you did on 2 June 2018. You have shown or expressed no remorse for what you have done.

I appreciate you have had a difficult upbringing in that you had to leave Syria as a young man due to the situation there. After a period in Lebanon where you married and started a family, you settled in the United Kingdom in 2017. You are still a relatively young man and you now have the added responsibility of three young children. Despite that, you have no employment history and you seem to spend time, or at least some of your time, drinking excessively, despite those family responsibilities. It is apparent from the criminal justice social work report that there have been concerns expressed about your excessive use of alcohol but you have refused any assistance with this.

In view of the circumstances of this serious sexual assault on a woman who was to all intents and purposes, a stranger to you, I am of the view that the appropriate sentence in this case is one of seven years backdated to 14 October 2019.

A further notice will be served on you under the Sexual Offences Act confirming the notifications requirements that you will be obliged to adhere to.”