HMA v Stephen Kane

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 29 August 2017, Lord Clark sentenced Stephen Kane to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 16 years after the accused was found guilty of the murder of Lee Monaghan.

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

“Stephen Kane, you have been found guilty of the murder of Lee Monaghan.

“On the night in question your brother told you that the window of his car had been smashed by Lee Monaghan. In fact, it is not known who had smashed the car window, but your brother had assumed that it was Lee Monaghan.

“Armed with knives, you took a taxi to the block of flats where Lee Monaghan lived, with his mother. You came across him and stabbed him three times, in the legs.

“One of the knife blows you struck proved to be fatal – it severed the femoral artery in Lee Monaghan’s right leg, resulting in a rapid loss of blood and, after a matter of minutes, his death.

“His mother was at the scene, trying to assist and phoning an ambulance. He died in front of her.

“From an early stage in these proceedings, you accepted responsibility for the death of Lee Monaghan and offered to plead to the crime of culpable homicide.

“However, by their verdict the jury concluded that you acted with at least wicked recklessness and so found you guilty of murder.

“The information before me confirms how profound the impact of the loss of her son has been on Lee Monaghan’s mother. Nothing I can say or do can reduce that impact.

“His mother and his family and friends have lost a much loved young man. They are left to deal with their loss, which you have caused, for the rest of their lives.

“I have listened to what has been said on your behalf and I have taken it into account. I have also had regard to the criminal justice social work report now available to me.

“It is clear that you have expressed remorse for your actions. I also have regard to your relatively young age, to your personal circumstances and family background, and to the fact that you have no previous convictions.

“But I also take into account the seriousness of the crime of murder of which you have been convicted and the fact that this attack was planned and premeditated, that you armed yourself, and that you then deliberately inflicted three knife wounds on Lee Monaghan, one of which was fatal.

“The sentence for murder is fixed by law. It is life imprisonment.

“I am obliged to fix a period of time which you must serve in custody before you can be considered for parole. In fixing this period, known as the punishment part, I must reflect the need to punish you for the crime of murder and to deter you and others from committing murder.

“In fixing the punishment part of your sentence the law requires me not to have regard to the risk that you may pose to the public in the future. That will be a matter for the Parole Board in due course.

“I therefore sentence you to life imprisonment. Having regard to the whole circumstances, the punishment part will be one of 16 years. Your period of imprisonment is backdated to 29 August 2016 when you were remanded in custody.

“This does not mean that your sentence is one of 16 years. You are sentenced to life imprisonment and you will serve at least 16 years before you can be considered for release on parole.

“It will then be for the Parole Board to determine when you will ultimately be released and they will have regard to the safety of the public in reaching that decision.”