HMA v Bilaal Afzal

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 27 September 2019, Lord Uist sentenced Bilaal Afzal to five-and-a-half years’ imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of the rape of a 16-year-old girl.

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

“Bilaal Afzal, you were convicted by the jury of the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Edinburgh on 10 April 2018 while you were the subject of a bail order.

“She was known to you and you first attempted to assault her sexually in your car in Holyrood Park before driving her to Lochend Apartments, where you had arranged to have the use of an apartment, and raping her there.

“You pushed her onto a bed, struggled with her, sat on her, forcibly removed her clothing and penetrated her vagina with your penis.

“Despite the fact that you later apologised by text message for having forced yourself upon her, you maintained at your trial and to the social worker who prepared a report for this court that she had consented.

“You are now 25 years old. You have a lengthy record of previous convictions dating from April 2013.

“Although you do not have a conviction for a sexual offence, it is clear that you have been going off the rails over the last few years.

“As the social worker aptly described your offending in the criminal justice social work report, it is chronic and increasing in seriousness.

“It is to be hoped that the sentence which you are about to receive will now bring your offending to an end.

“The sentence which I impose is five years six months’ imprisonment from 16 January 2019, six months of which is attributable to the bail aggravation.

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