HMA v Joshua John Hunter

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 18 April 2019, Lord Pentland imposed an extended sentence of six years on Joshua Hunter after the accused pled guilty to rape. The custodial part will be four years, which will be followed by an extension period of two years on licence.

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

“Joshua John Hunter, you pled guilty on the first morning of your trial to a charge of rape; an offence you committed in December 2015.

“At the time of the offence your victim, whom you had befriended the previous evening, was asleep and intoxicated.

“Although there had been some earlier consensual sexual activity between the two of you, at the time when you penetrated the victim’s mouth with your penis he was unconscious and incapable of consenting.

“You must have been aware of that, yet you ignored the victim’s inability to consent and instead proceeded to penetrate his mouth for the purpose of your own sexual gratification.

“The information supplied to the court by your victim indicates that the offence has had devastating and lasting effects on him.

“I have taken account of all the information placed before the court in mitigation.  In particular, I acknowledge that you have faced a number of difficulties in your life, but these cannot excuse the fact that you chose to subject your victim to a degrading and humiliating act extending to sexual penetration, without his consent.

“I take into account also that you have expressed remorse for this offence and that you are taking steps to try to address your difficulties in the prison environment.

“For the reasons fully set out in the criminal justice social work report, I am satisfied that an extended sentence for the present offence is merited.

“I intend to impose an extended sentence of six years. The custodial part of this will be four years.

“In view of the late stage at which your guilty plea was tendered, it had no utilitarian value and accordingly no discount from that period is justified.

“The extension period will be two years. During the extension period you will be subject to a licence.

“The purpose of the licence will be to ensure that you are appropriately monitored and supervised upon your eventual release from custody and that a robust risk management strategy is put in place for the protection of the public.

If you fail to comply with the conditions of the licence it may be revoked, and you are liable to be returned to custody.

“The extended sentence will run from today.

“You will remain subject to the notification requirements applicable to sex offenders for the remainder of your life. 

“Your name has been added to the list of persons deemed unsuitable to work with children and other vulnerable individuals.”