HMA v Felix Beck

At the High Court in Aberdeen today, 17 January 2019, Lord Uist sentenced Felix Beck to three years imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault of an 18 year old female student.

On sentencing Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

"You were convicted by the jury of the crimes of sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault of an 18 year old female student in her room at her hall of residence in Edinburgh on 19 October 2016.

The terms of the conviction were that you seized hold of her neck and compressed her neck, penetrated her vagina with your fingers, pushed her legs and forced her on to her knees, pushed her head, uttered abusive remarks to her, pushed her on to a bed, forced her legs apart, bit her on the legs and on the private parts all to her injury and thereafter handled your penis and masturbated in her presence and ejaculated on her.

This crime was committed on your first meeting with the woman, whom you had contacted through a dating website and with whom you thereafter engaged in sexual conversation by way of social media.

As a result of your attack upon her she was left with bruising to her neck as shown in photographs which she took and bleeding to her vagina and the inside of her thighs. You left her in her room in a distressed condition after making an insulting remark about her inability to perform a sexual act to your satisfaction and then immediately deleted her from your social contacts.

Since the incident she has suffered from depression and self-harmed and in July 2017 she was diagnised with post traumatic stress disorder. She left Edinburgh University as she felt unable to continue with her course there and had to begin her studies afresh at another university

You were 19 years old at the time you commited this crime. You are now 22 years old. You have no other criminal convictions. You come from a comfortable, indeed privileged, background and are now in the fourth year of study for your degree. I have considered the terms of the criminal justice social work report on you, the psychological report, all the references and letters tendered on your behalf and all that has been said in mitigation on your behalf.

You have only yourself to blame for the situation in which you now find yourself, which arises out of the lifestyle you were leading and what I regard as your sensse of sexual entitlement and your arrogance. The way in which you treated your victim both during and after this violent attack was callous and disgraceful.

In selecting the appropriate sentence in your case I have taken in to account different considerations. I must, of course, have regard to your background, but I must also have regard to the consequences for your victim and the public interest in the protection of women and punishment of sexual crime.

The crime which you committed was a grave one and not mitigated by any behaviour on your part at the time. It merits a custodial sentence and I see no  reason why that should not be the outcome in your case.

No other method of dealing with you or this serious crime is appropriate. The sentence which I imposed is three years imprisonment from today's date (17 January 2019).

As a result of that sentence you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period."