HMA v Kevin McConaghie

At the High Court in Aberdeen today, 15 February 2018, Lord Arthurson sentenced Kevin McConaghie to four years imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of serious sexual assault. The accused had pled guilty to failing to appear in court on a date of which he has been given due notice. On sentencing Lord Arthurson made the following statement in court:

On 18 January 2018 at Livingston High Court you were convicted by a jury of a contravention of section 2 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009. This offence comprised the sexual assault by penetration of a vulnerable adult known to you, and took place one afternoon during a period when your victim was living alone in her family home, as you well knew, her mother having been hospitalised.

You forced your way into the house, having consumed alcohol, attacked her and committed what was on any view an extremely serious sexual assault by penetration upon her, again by the use of force.

At the conclusion of the trial the advocate depute for the Crown in place of a written victim impact statement advised the Court that your victim had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and that your crime against her had resulted in her being moved into supported accommodation.

It is of note that in 2005 you were convicted of a sexually aggravated breach of the peace involving two young females. In respect of that offence you received a three year probation order, which you proceeded to breach on two subsequent occasions. Otherwise you have no other criminal convictions and have never been sent to prison before.

On the morning of the first day of your trial you further tendered a plea of guilty to a contravention of section 102A (1)(a) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 in respect of your failure to attend a diet of this Court in these proceedings on 3 October 2017. On 5 October 2017 your bail was duly revoked and you have remained in custody since that date.

I have listened carefully to the helpful submissions made on your behalf in mitigation this morning by your counsel, and take into account everything that has been said in imposing sentence today, in particular concerning your personal circumstances.

The criminal justice social work report which has been made available for today’s sentencing hearing discloses that you did not demonstrate any victim empathy during your interviews with the author of the report and further that you present, on assessment under one risk assessment tool, a high risk of sexual reconviction. The report also records that you have stated that you will not engage in any offence focussed work.

In these circumstances, the gravity of your offending plainly meriting a custodial disposal, I now sentence you as follows. On charge one on the indictment, the sentence is one of four years imprisonment, backdated to the date of your initial and continuing remand in custody, namely 5 October 2017. On charge two, the sentence is one of six months imprisonment, with no discount, to be served concurrently with the sentence imposed in respect of charge one and accordingly similarly backdated to 5 October 2017.

Finally, as a result of the sentence imposed on this indictment, you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.