HMA v GRAHAM LANG

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Pentland sentenced Graeme Lang to 5 years in prison after he was convicted of assault.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

“Graham Lang, you were unanimously convicted by the jury of assaulting your former partner to her severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of her life.  The jury specifically rejected your defence of provocation.  It appears that the motivation behind this violent attack on the complainer, which began whilst she was asleep in bed in your house, was sexual jealousy because you discovered that she was in the process of beginning a new relationship.  Your reaction was grossly excessive, whatever your own perception of the state of your relationship with the complainer was.

In the course of a sustained attack you repeatedly punched the complainer on the head and body and kicked her on the body.  You threw a mobile phone at her face; this has left the complainer with embarrassing scarring.   Finally, you attempted to strangle her, as a result of which the complainer lost consciousness.  The medical evidence was that the type of assault to which you subjected the complainer could easily and rapidly have led to her death.  After all that you threatened her with further violence and tried to detain her in the house against her wishes.

There can be no doubt that you subjected the complainer to a prolonged and frightening ordeal. I acknowledge that the jury was not satisfied that the attack was of a murderous nature.  It does appear to be the case, however, that you have a domineering and controlling strain in your personality.

I accept that you have been of predominantly good character before this offence and that you have made a positive contribution to society.

I have taken into account all the information available to me, including letters from your daughter and sister and the contents of the social work report.  I have considered the favourable reference provided by a former employer.

I have also had regard to the victim impact statement; this explains that the complainer continues to suffer psychologically from the effects of the incident.

The court must take a serious view of this violent assault on a defenceless woman and particularly of the aggravating features of permanent disfigurement and endangerment to her life.

In the whole circumstances, you will go to prison for a term of 5 years. I shall backdate the sentence to the date of your conviction on 16 January 2014”.