HMA v Ranna Singh

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 8 May 2019. Lady Rae imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction on Ranna Singh with a punishment part of four years after the accused was found guilty of attempted rape.

On sentencing, Lady Rae made the following statement in court:

“On 14 August last year at this court, after a six-day trial you were found guilty by the jury of two charges, the more serious of which was the repeated attempted rape of a young woman who was heavily under the influence of alcohol. 

“This young woman was in a vulnerable condition and you knew well that she was in such a state because you had invited her to accompany you for a drink after work and it was you who purchased all of the drinks that night. 

“Thereafter you persuaded her that it was not safe to take a taxi home while alone and you advised her that she should sleep on a spare bed in your flat. Thereafter you carried out a violent, prolonged and persistent attack on this young woman. 

“A neighbour heard the sounds of a distressed female and while phoning the police he recorded part of the attack. Although the jury heard only two minutes of this recording the incident lasted much longer.

“The second charge involved obstructive and threatening behaviour towards police officers called to the scene. During an aggressive exchange with the officers you attempted to strike the female officer. 

“These crimes are aggravated by the fact that you were on two bail orders at the time but the principal aggravating factor is your very serious previous conviction for a violent stranger rape in June 2007 when you were sentenced to an extended sentence of eight years.

“Although subsequently released on a non-parole licence you had to be returned to custody because of further offending involving the carrying of a knife and assault. There were other concerns about your behaviour during the licence period including the excessive use of alcohol.

“I also note that at the time of the offences before me you were the subject of an interim Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

“You take no responsibility for your sexual offending, claiming that you have been wrongly convicted, not only on the present indictment, but you insist that you were also wrongly convicted in 2007. From the information before me you have shown in the past that you are resistant to treatment or the need for change. 

“You have shown no remorse for your offending. You blame your victims, the police and any others who disagree with you for the predicament in which you find yourself.

 

“You have challenged, as you are of course entitled to do, the risk assessment report provided to this court by the very experienced accredited risk assessor.  She assesses the risk which you present to the public as high.

“Having heard evidence from the assessor and having reflected carefully on the submissions by your senior counsel I am satisfied that there is no merit whatsoever in your challenges to that report.

“I have considered all of the information before me and I am satisfied that the risk criteria set out in section 210E of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 have been met in this case.

“Those criteria are that the nature of the offences of which you have been convicted, either in themselves or as part of a pattern of behaviour is such as to demonstrate that there is a likelihood that you, if at liberty, will seriously endanger the lives, or physical or psychological well-being of members of the public at large.

“Your history as detailed in the risk assessment report and social work reports taken together with the circumstances of the present offences and your previous convictions in my view disclose that you are a manipulative, predatory, violent sexual offender and thus a high risk offender and a danger to the public. It is clear that you do require long term risk management and treatment in the interests of protecting the public. 

“On a proper reading of the legislation, and as interpreted by the Court of Appeal in the case of Johnstone v Her Majesty’s Advocate, decided in 2011, once the risk criteria are met I am bound to impose an Order for Lifelong Restriction.

“I should make clear however that even if the imposition of such an order were discretionary, once I had concluded that the risk criteria are met, I would have still come to the view, without hesitation, that such an order in this case was merited. Accordingly I intend to make an Order for Lifelong Restriction in your case. 

“The law demands that I set a punishment part, that is, the minimum period of imprisonment which you require to serve to satisfy the requirements of retribution and deterrence.  

“In setting that period, I must first decide what would have been the appropriate determinate sentence had I not been imposing an Order for Lifelong Restriction. Thereafter I am required to make certain reductions to that period. 

“The first reduction I must make is to remove from that notional determinate sentence any element of the sentence applicable to protection of the public in the future.  Thereafter, I require to reduce the remainder by one half.

“Accordingly, having regard to the factors before me, particularly the nature of your violent and repeated sexual offending, I am of the view that a lengthy determinate sentence would have been merited and having regard to your risk, I would have imposed an extended sentence.

“That would have been a determinate extended sentence of 12 years with a custodial part of eight years. The extension period of four years would have reflected the public protection element. That leaves four years which I shall reduce by half. The resultant punishment part of four years will be back dated to 18 April 2017 when you were first remanded in custody. I shall impose a concurrent sentence of 12 months on charge 2 with three months of that attributable to the bail aggravations.

“Such a sentence means however that you will not be eligible for release from custody until you have served the full period of the punishment part. Thereafter decisions as to your future release will be taken by the Parole Board for Scotland and to be clear, you will not be released unless and until you are deemed to be no longer a serious risk to the public. If and when released, you will remain subject to continuing risk assessments and most probably close supervision for the rest of your life. 

“The only other matters which I require to tell you about is that, having been convicted of sexual offences, a further notice will shortly be served on you under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, advising you of the notification requirements which you will be obliged to submit to on release.”