HMA v Mark McLeod

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 21 June 2018, Lord Summers imposed an extended sentence of 17 years and nine months on Mark McLeod, after the accused was found guilty of a series of rapes and violent assaults against former partners, as well as animal cruelty offences. The custodial period will be 13 years and nine months, followed by an extension period of four years on licence.

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

“Mark McLeod you have been convicted by the jury of 14 crimes committed over a 12 year period. 

“In dealing with the sentence appropriate to these convictions I note that you are 39 years of age and that you have a lengthy schedule of criminal convictions. Those convictions start in September 1997 when you were aged about 18 and continue up to 2013. The schedule is liberally sprinkled with crimes of violence as well as crimes of dishonesty. 

“It is clear that you have very little respect for the law. In addition the evidence at trial and your criminal justice social enquiry report make it clear that you have a very poor attitude to women. Accordingly, the court is not inclined to adopt a benevolent or forgiving view of your behaviour. 

“I propose to deal with the convictions as follows: In connection with the charge 14 you were convicted under the Protection of Animals (Scotland) Act 1912. In connection with charges 17 and 27 you were convicted under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.  These offences involved cruelty to various pet dogs kept by you or your one of partners. For each of these offences I sentence you to one month imprisonment, each to be served consecutive to the other.

“Of the former partners who gave evidence against you, complainer A was the one with whom you had the shortest relationship. You were convicted under charge 15 of chasing her, throwing a boot at her, threatening her with violence and with threatening to throw her out of a window.

“As will appear the assaults you committed against your other partners were of a far more serious nature and were allied with convictions for rape. In those circumstances I have decided to separate out the assault against complainer A. I sentence you to six months imprisonment in connection with charge 15 to be served consecutively to the convictions under charges 14, 17 and 27.

“The most serious convictions are those of rape. You have been convicted of raping complainer B under charge 2. You have been convicted of raping complainer C under charge 9. And you have been convicted of two charges of rape in connection with complainer D; these statutory rapes are covered by charges 21 and 22.

“The criminal justice social work report assesses you as presenting a high level of risk to intimate partners and children upon your eventual release from prison. In the circumstances, I have decided that an extended sentence is appropriate.

“Dealing firstly with the custodial part I will sentence you to four years’ imprisonment in connection with the rapes of complainer B and four years’ imprisonment in connection with the rapes of complainer C.

“In connection with the statutory rapes of complainer D in charges 21 and 22, I have decided to sentence you to five years imprisonment in connection with charge 21 and four years imprisonment in connection with charge 22.

“Charge 22 requires to be seen in the light of charge 21. Charge 22 is a single episode of rape separated out no doubt because it occurred when the complainer was asleep. In my view however charge 22 requires to be sentenced in light of the course of conduct covered by charge 21. I have decided to pronounce a higher sentence in connection with these charges.

“Complainer D was very young when she began her relationship with you. She was born on 9 January 1993 and you were born on 27 March 1979. The age gap between you was approximately 24 years. Some of the offences against her occurred when she was about 17 or 18 and you were in your 40s. I consider this circumstance aggravates your guilt and I propose to sentence you accordingly.  

“These sentences are to be served consecutive to the sentences already pronounced in connection with charges 14, 17 and 27, the animal cruelty charges, and charge 15 the assault on complainer A. Charge 2 and 9 are to be served consecutively. Charges 21 and 22 are to be served consecutive to charges 2 and 9 and concurrently to one another.

“The second part of the extended sentence is called the extension period, during which you will continue to be on licence on conditions fixed by the Scottish Ministers. If you breach those conditions or commit another offence, you may be returned to custody in respect of the current sentence. This would be over and above any sentence for a new offence. 

“I fix the extension period at four years in connection with your convictions for rape under charge 21, it being the last of these sentences to expire.

“You were convicted of assaulting complainer B on a variety of occasions to the danger of her life under charge 1. In this connection I sentence you to a period of one year in prison to run concurrently with charge 2.

“You were convicted of assaulting complainer C under charge 6, of assault and abduction under charge 7 and of assault with a knife under charge 8. I sentence you in cumulo for these crimes to three years’ imprisonment, having regard in particular to the use of a knife. This sentence will run concurrently with your sentence for charge 9.

“You were convicted of assaulting complainer D under charge 18 and of assaulting and abducting complainer D under charge 19. These assaults were severe and sustained. I sentence you in cumulo for these crimes to two years imprisonment, which will run concurrently with your sentence for charges 21 and 22. 

“The effect of these sentences is that you are liable to serve a period of 13 years and nine months in prison, followed by an extension period of four years from the conclusion of your sentence under charge 21.

“You have been in custody since 8 September 2017 and your term of imprisonment will begin to run from that date.”

Sentencing Statements

HMA v Jamie Anderson

Thursday, 21 March, 2019

HMA v Ian John James McEwan

Thursday, 21 March, 2019

HMA v Aaron Campbell

Thursday, 21 March, 2019

HMA v Paul McMillan

Thursday, 21 March, 2019

HMA v William Turner

Wednesday, 20 March, 2019