HMA v Deividas Labanauskas

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Deividas Labanauskas to 4 years 6 months imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assault to danger of life.

On sentencing, Lord Boyd of Duncansby made the following statement in court:

“On your own plea, you have been convicted of a serious assault on your ex-partner. In the course of that assault you dragged her by the hair, bit her, kneed her in the abdomen, compressed her neck, threatened to kill her, kicked her in the stomach and back and caused her head to strike a fireplace.

As a result of this assault your victim was so afraid that she pretended to be unconscious. When she managed to escape she was found in a highly distressed state. She had bruising over the entire length of her body, a bite mark on her shoulder, petechial haemorrhaging to her cheeks and bruising to her throat and neck. The assault was to the danger of her life.

In the Criminal Justice Social Work Report you claimed that you had returned alone to the house in order to collect your belongings. You claim that you intended to leave your partner and that she threatened you with a knife. That account is wholly at odds with the agreed narrative. If the complainer did pick up a knife it was, as your counsel conceded, to protect herself from you. I conclude that this was a made up story to minimise the responsibility for your actions.

You have a significant criminal record albeit as a petty thief but it does include the use of threatening behaviour. You are assessed as posing a significant risk of re-offending and there is a potential risk of further imminent serious domestic harm to your victim.

In those circumstances, I have given consideration to the recommendation of a period of supervision after your release presumably by way of an extended sentence.

However, I have decided that it is unnecessary for two reasons. In the first place this is your first serious conviction for a crime of violence. Secondly, in any event it is likely that you will be the subject of deportation proceedings.

I have listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf. I take into account all the factors mentioned by your counsel and that you were originally charged with attempted murder.

Nevertheless this was a vicious and cowardly assault on your partner. It can only be marked by a significant sentence of imprisonment. Had you been convicted after trial I would have imposed a sentence of 6 years imprisonment of which 3 months would be attributable to the bail aggravation. In view of the plea at the preliminary hearing I shall discount that sentence to one of 4 years 6 months.

The sentence will be backdated to 28 December 2016.”

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