HMA v MARC McKILLOP

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lady Scott imposed an extended sentence of 13 years on Marc McKillop with a custodial period of 10 years and an extension period of 3 years after he was found guilty of assault, rape and attempted murder.

On sentencing Lady Scott made the following statement in court:

29 November 2013

“You have been convicted of 21 charges, consisting of a sustained and serious course of violent conduct against 6 young women over a period of about 7 years. This course of conduct includes your repeatedly gripping the throat and restricting the breathing of each and every victim involved and it includes convictions for sexual assault, rape assault to the danger of life and attempted murder.

All bar one of your victims were vulnerable, young and physically much smaller than you. You pursued a relationship with each of them and then once that relationship was established you subjected each of them to a storm of violence.

Your first victim was only 16 years old when she entered a relationship with you and you dominated her, using violence, in her words “most of the time I was with him”.  Again to use her words “when you were not happy” you would pin her down or against a wall, by the throat.  On one occasion when she clearly said no and resisted, you ignored her, pinned her down and raped her.

Your second victim, also your girlfriend, was subjected to frightening violent assaults, including you repeatedly grabbing her by the throat whereby she felt she couldn’t breathe; shaking her, punching her repeatedly on the face and body, spitting in her face and on one occasion biting her.

Your third victim was your girlfriend for over 2 years during which time you dominated, demeaned and terrified her with your violence. This included countless occasions of being poked and pressured in the eyes, being grabbed and twisted in her face or on her private parts. On one occasion, in public, a friend of this victim sought to intervene and calm you down and you grabbed her by the throat. Some of this violence to the third victim, such as pulling her down the stairs, was inflicted upon her when she was heavily pregnant with your child. Later you attacked her, including sexually assaulting her, whilst she was breastfeeding the baby. On numerous occasions you grabbed her by the throat, on one occasion you throttled her from behind using a belt round her neck and on another throttled her until she lost consciousness and she thought she was going to die and you did attempt to murder her.

Your fourth victim was swiftly subjected to acts of violence including being seized by the throat, being pinned down, being bitten and on at least three occasions being smothered with a pillow whereby she felt she couldn’t breathe. Eventually after one assault she ran out of the house to escape.

Your final victim and girlfriend was subject to an attack including being grabbed by the throat, in her home when her children were upstairs asleep and at a time when you were on bail for some of these charges.

I have heard the evidence and read the victim impact statements lodged with the court. Your conduct has left many of these young women depressed, in some cases suicidal, in need of medication and significant support. They all remain profoundly affected and in the process of re-building their lives.

I have no doubt from this appalling course of conduct that you pose a serious risk of harm to women. It is clear from your evidence and from the background reports that you deny any responsibility and in your evidence, in respect of the minimal violence you admitted, you sought to blame your victims.

I have taken into account the absence of violence on your record. At the same time these convictions demonstrate a catalogue of violence over a prolonged period.

In view of the risk that you pose to women and for the protection of the public I have decided to impose an extended sentence. An extended sentence consists of the appropriate term of imprisonment and an extension period whereby your release on licence is extended for that period. The effect is that, if, during that period, if you breach the conditions of your licence, your licence may be revoked and you may be recalled to prison by the Scottish Ministers, with or without consultation with the Parole Board.

In respect of the statutory charge of sexual assault in charge 30, I sentence you to 2 years imprisonment to run concurrently with the sentence on the other charges.

In order to reflect the serious and sustained course of conduct involved here, linking all of these offences, in respect of the remaining common law charges, I sentence you to a total cumulo extended sentence of 13 years consisting of a period in custody of 10 years backdated to 1st November 2013 and to an extended period on licence of 3 years.

You will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.”