HMA v Mohammed Ali Abboud

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 21 January 2016, Lord Uist sentenced Mohammed Ali Abboud to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 20 years after the accused was found guilty of the murder of Agnieska Szefler.

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

“Mohammed Ali Abboud, you were convicted by the jury of the savage and brutal murder of your former partner, Agnieska Szefler, a 27-year-old woman of considerable promise, on 23 January last year at your home in Bridge of Earn.

When she returned for the weekend from her work assignment in Kuwait to collect her belongings from your house following upon the end of her relationship with you, you brought about her death by inflicting on her a total of 21 stab wounds, as well as multiple incised wounds.

She was unable to defend herself and you showed her no mercy. Even after she had escaped into the garden you pursued her and repeatedly stabbed her yet again.

You thereafter took steps, which included inflicting knife injuries on yourself, in an attempt to make it appear that she had attacked you with a knife. Your account of events at police interview was just ridiculous and rightly disbelieved by the jury.

After your conviction you were given the opportunity to tell the truth to the social worker appointed to compile a report on you for this court about what happened but failed to avail yourself of that opportunity and persisted in your obviously false account.

You are now 57 years old and have no previous convictions. I take into account the contents of the criminal justice social work report and all that has been said on your behalf when I fix the punishment part of your sentence, that is, the period which you must spend in full in prison before you can even apply to the Parole Board for Scotland to be released on licence. I shall also take into account your conviction on charge 2 for attempting to defeat the ends of justice, on which charge you are formally admonished, when fixing your punishment part.

The sentence for murder is fixed by law and I must now impose that sentence upon you. I sentence you to imprisonment for life. Having regard to the nature and extent of the violence which you employed, as well as your conduct as set out in charge 2, I fix your punishment part at 20 years.

You must not assume that you will automatically be released at the end of that period: you will be released only when the Parole Board for Scotland is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison. Your sentence will run from 26 January 2015.”

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