HMA v Neil Ireland

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 17 May 2017, Lord Uist sentenced Neil Ireland to 10 years’ imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of repeatedly raping two women and sexually assaulting two other women.

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

“Neil Ireland, you were convicted by the jury of a total of six charges involving sexual violence against four separate women. Three of these charges involved repeated rapes of two of the women and three involved indecent or sexual assaults on two of the women.

It was, in my opinion, correctly stated by the Crown at your trial that you were a predator who befriended and exploited vulnerable women by taking advantage of them sexually, not caring whether they consented to what you did to them.

Moreover, it was clear to me that you considered that you were entitled to act as you did and that you have shown no remorse or regret. The social worker who compiled a report on you for this court has informed me that you use denial, minimisation and blame when recounting events and that you portray yourself as the victim.

You are now almost 40 years old. As you have only one minor road traffic conviction I shall treat you as a first offender. If you had had previous convictions for any kind of violence the sentence about to be imposed would have been longer.

You must now appreciate the gravity of the crimes of which you have been convicted and I hope that at some point you will come to acknowledge and perhaps even understand the very damaging effect which your crimes have had on your female victims. Today you have to pay the price for your criminal conduct.

The sentence which I impose on all charges taken together is 10 years imprisonment, to run from 21 April 2017.

As a result of that sentence you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”