PF Aberdeen v Angus Milligan

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court today, 12 July 2017, Sheriff Malcolm Garden sentenced Angus Milligan to a Community Payback Order after the accused pled guilty to assault to injury and threatening or abusive behaviour, as well as a communications offence of sending messages of offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing character. The order consists of a period of one year supervision and a requirement to undertake 180 hours of unpaid work within a period of 10 months.

On sentencing, Sheriff Garden made the following statement in court: 

“Angus Milligan, the circumstances surrounding this case are utterly tragic. 

“It is impossible to imagine the level of distress and grief to which the family of Emily Drouet have been subjected. 

“This court offers its sincere condolences to them for their loss. 

“It is important to note that, in this prosecution, the procurator fiscal does not seek to prove nor claim that your criminal activity caused Miss Drouet to act in the way in which she did. 

“It is not appropriate for this court to undertake any exercise of speculation as to the cause nor to comment on the surrounding events. 

“The case before this court is on summary complaint. 

“The three charges to which you have pleaded guilty demonstrate a course of conduct sustained over a relatively short time but during which you exhibited a controlling and ultimately violent approach to your relationship. 

“Although you now demonstrate remorse, that, it seems, is more to do with subsequent events and was not your position at the time. That is a matter of legitimate concern for the court. 

“It may well be that the trigger for your actings was an element of conduct on the part of Miss Drouet but there was no excuse for your behaving in the way in which you did. 

“That conduct was wholly unacceptable. 

“The assault charge involves a significant level of violence which resulted in injury. 

“Although I am satisfied that these charges, when taken together, comprise a course of conduct which would justify a custodial sentence, it is clear that this is not the only appropriate sentence. 

“A custodial sentence should only be imposed where it is the only appropriate sentence. 

“In particular, the court is required to have regard to the age of any accused person when making that assessment. 

“On this occasion, I agree with the broad assessment contained in the criminal justice social work report. 

“I will accordingly make a Community Payback Order. That order will contain two elements. 

“Firstly, a supervision requirement for a period of one year. During that period you must comply with all of the requirements of your supervising officer. 

“Secondly, you will require to undertake 180 hours of unpaid work in the community; this would have been 230 hours had you not pleaded guilty at the intermediate diet stage. I will allow you a period of 10 months in which to complete these hours. 

“This sentence is an alternative to custody. 

“You must comply with these requirements. You should be in no doubt that any failure to comply is likely to result in the discharge of this order and the imposition of a custodial sentence.”