HMA v Steven Mathieson

At the High Court in Livingston on 7 May 2015, Lord Bannatyne sentenced Steven Mathieson to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 22 years after the accused pled guilty to the murder of Luciana Maurer.

On sentencing, Lord Bannatyne made the following statement in court: 

“Steven Mathieson, this is an appalling case. The crimes you have committed are truly dreadful. By your actings a young woman has lost her life. 

You contacted this young woman and had her come to your home. Within a very short time of her arrival, you subjected her to a sustained and brutal attack. You stabbed this defenceless young woman on approximately 44 occasions. As you subjected her to this attack, she must have been terrified. 

Your actings have deprived her parents of their daughter and deprived a young girl of her mother. The lives of these people have been devastated by what you did. 

However you did not stop there. You had also invited two other young women to your house. When they arrived, you subjected them to a sustained, degrading and terrifying attack, involving their being repeatedly raped. Throughout this attack they must have feared for their lives. A particularly appalling part of the attack on these women was that the initial part of it took place in the bedroom where the body of the deceased was lying. Your actings can only be described as wholly depraved. 

Eventually, when an opportunity to escape arose and they sought to take it, you sought to prevent them escaping. Only by good fortune were they able to escape and run naked to obtain assistance. 

The only explanation provided for these terrible and senseless crimes is that you had taken a lot of cocaine. That was a conscious and deliberate act by you. You, it appears from the criminal justice social work report, had taken cocaine on many occasions before. That you were under the influence of cocaine is not mitigation. 

I have considered your personal circumstances as set out in the criminal justice social work report. I note that you have no previous convictions and that, until these events, you have been a person of good character. I note that you pled guilty at the earliest opportunity. I take into account what has been said on your behalf by Mr Findlay QC. I have to balance what has been said in mitigation against the very serious nature of the charges. 

There is only one sentence for murder and that is imprisonment for life. I must also fix the punishment part. The punishment part is the period which you will serve in custody before being considered for parole in order to satisfy the requirements for retribution and deterrence, ignoring the period necessary to protect the public. 

I have taken as my starting point a punishment part of 25 years and reduce that to 22 years to take account of your early plea. In calculating the punishment part, I have had regard to the guidance of the High Court of Justiciary in Chalmers v HMA in respect to the calculating of punishment parts in cases featuring lesser charges on the same indictment. 

With respect to charge 2, I take as my starting point a sentence of 12 years and reduce this to eight years to take account of your early plea. 

These two sentences will be served concurrently. I backdate the sentence to 8 December 2014. 

In terms of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, I stated previously that you were convicted of a sexual offence to which Part 2 of that Act applies. Accordingly, you are subject to the notification requirements contained in the Act and, in light of the sentence imposed today, you will continue to be so subject for an indefinite period. 

The court has certified those facts and the clerk of court will shortly give you a notice which confirms these facts.”

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