HMA v ANNE-MARIE MULLEN & ALIX WILSON

At the High Court in Aberdeen Lord Matthews sentenced Anne Marie Mullen and Alix Wilson after they pled guilty to the assault and culpable homicide of Amanda Leiper on the 10 July 2012 in Aberdeen.

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:

“You have pleaded guilty, Ms Mullen, to assaulting the now deceased Amanda Leiper to her severe injury by kicking her, which resulted in a broken rib.

You, Ms Wilson, have pleaded guilty to killing Ms Leiper by repeatedly kicking and stamping on her. The cause of death appears to have been a kick to her head, causing it to strike the wall. That kick was administered while she was lying motionless and was a particularly vicious and cowardly act.

In this case I have read and considered carefully the agreed narrative of events which was placed before me.

I have also read the social background reports prepared on each of you , considered your record of previous convictions and listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf.

There is no doubt that there was an argument between the deceased, who was an unfortunate and vulnerable individual, and your former co-accused, David Mullen. No doubt fuelled by drink and drugs, which is no excuse, your response to that argument was excessive in your case Ms Mullen and grossly so in yours Ms Wilson.

I accept that in neither case was there any element of pre-planning and I take account of the fact that no weapons were used. Unfortunately, as experience and this case have shown, the foot can be every bit as effective a weapon as any other

Ms Mullen, in your case I have effectively to ignore the fact that Ms Leiper died, since the Crown have accepted that you were not responsible for that. I take account of the fact that for part of the incident you attempted to dissuade your co-accused.  Nevertheless you inflicted a serious injury on the deceased who was lying on the ground.

Ms Wilson, it is accepted that you did not intend to kill Ms Leiper and that your attack on her was not a murderous one.  Nevertheless your action resulted in her death. I shall deal with your case first.

Sentences for the crime of culpable homicide can range from the very lenient to life imprisonment.  In my opinion this case lies somewhere in the middle of that range. You have demonstrated a tendency towards violent conduct, particularly while under the influence of drink and/or drugs. In order to protect the public from any more serious harm from you I intend to pass a sentence on you in 2 parts. The first part will be a custodial element. After your release from that there will be an extension period during which you will be subject to conditions set by the Scottish Minsters. If you break those conditions or offend again you will be liable to be returned to prison until the expiry of the total period so the ball will be in your court.  I take account of the fact that this case was resolved by a plea. It came at a very late stage but there was some public benefit in it. Had the matter gone fully to trial the custodial element would have been one of 8 years and 4 months, the 4 months being attributable to the bail aggravation. As it is, I fix the custodial period as 7 years and 9 months, the 3 months being attributable to the bail aggravation. I fix the extension period at 2 years. That would have been the same after trial. The total extended sentence is therefore one of 9 years and 9 months and will run from 13 July 2012.

In your case Ms Mullen I have formed the view that a custodial sentence is necessary in view of the serious injury which you inflicted when Ms Leiper was helpless. Having regard to all the circumstances, including the fact that you were subject to stringent bail conditions, which were the equivalent of a Restriction of Liberty Order, I sentence you to a period of imprisonment for 13 months, including 2 months for the bail aggravation. Had the case gone fully to trial the sentence would have been one of imprisonment for 14 months , including the same aggravation”.