HMA v Marc John Ronald

At the High Court in Edinburgh today Lord Pentland sentenced Marc John Ronald to nine years imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of rape and sexual assault. On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

Marc John Ronald, you were convicted by the verdicts of the jury of a number of serious sexual offences committed against a former partner. There were two offences of rape and three of sexual assault. Each of the offences occurred whilst the victim was intoxicated, asleep and incapable of giving or withholding her consent. It is clear from the evidence in the case that you took advantage of the victim for the purposes of your own sexual gratification.

 The offences involved planning, preparation and deliberation on your part. Your conduct towards the victim was degrading and humiliating. You treated her as a mere sexual object. She deserves great credit for her bravery and determination in seeing that you have been brought to justice.

 The criminal justice social work report shows that you have no sense of remorse, of empathy for the victim or of insight into the gravity of your conduct. I hope that during your sentence you will reflect on these issues.

 I take account of your previous good character and of all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation this morning. I acknowledge that the jury deleted from the terms of the charges the allegation that you supplied and caused the victim to ingest Valium.

 Nonetheless, it is clear that I must take a serious view of these offences in view of their inherent gravity, their repeated nature and the vulnerability of the victim, who was unable to consent to what you did to her.  Such conduct must attract a heavy sentence of imprisonment in the interests of retribution and deterrence of others.

 I remind you that you are now subject to the notification requirements applicable to sex offenders and that your name has been added to the lists of persons considered unsuitable to work with children and vulnerable groups.

 I do not propose to impose an extended sentence; the statutory criteria for that not being satisfied in my opinion.

 You will go to prison for a period of nine years. The sentence will be backdated to 15 August 2017.

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