HMA v Stephen Reed

At the High Court in Glasgow today (13 February 2020) Lord Beckett imposed an extended sentence of 13 years with a custodial term of 10 years on Stephen Reed after he was convicted of charges including rape, sexual assault and assault.

On sentencing Lord Beckett made the following statement in court:

“I take into account everything said on your behalf by Mr Stewart and the contents of the reports which I have considered carefully, including the psychologist’s report exhibited on your behalf. You have a history of employment and self-reliance. I recognise that at the age of 54 you have a limited criminal record and have never been to prison in Scotland although the social work report discloses that you did serve a prison sentence in England more than 20 years ago. 

I sentence you on the basis of the charges of which you were convicted. These offences were committed a number of years ago and I take account of that.

However, you have been convicted of very serious crimes. In addition to seriously sexually assaulting three former partners, repeatedly in the case of two of them, you have been convicted of inflicting significant violence on them. The assaults on charges 7 and 15 included your seizing the complainers by the neck and restricting their breathing which was very frightening for both of them. You also assaulted two children, but in that regard I take account only of the offences of which you were convicted in Scotland. In passing sentence I take no account of the evidence led about events in England spoken of in the trial.

Such serious crimes of domestic abuse, both violent and sexual, have profound and enduring consequences for those on the receiving end and I have some information about that from one of the complainers which I take into account.

You have shown no empathy, insight or remorse.

Given the gravity of the crimes that you committed, there is no suitable alternative to a sentence of imprisonment. It is necessary to punish you and to seek to deter you and others from behaving in this way.

Notwithstanding the interval since these crimes were committed, and I have carefully considered what Mr Stewart has said about that and I also considered it before coming in to court today, having considered the pattern of offending, the gravity of your crimes and the risk assessments in the report, the question of how best to protect the public does arise. I am concerned to ensure that the public is adequately protected against serious harm from you when you are released from prison.

Having considered all of the circumstances, in my judgement the normal period of licence would not be adequate to protect the public from serious harm from you. Accordingly I am going to pass on you an extended sentence.

I am imposing one sentence to cover all of the charges, an extended sentence of 13 years with a custodial term of 10 years and an extension period of 3 years for the duration of which you will be under licence on conditions fixed by the Scottish Ministers.

If during this extension period you fail to comply with the conditions of your licence it may be revoked by the Scottish Ministers and you may be returned to custody for a further period. Sentence is backdated to 16 January 2020 when you were remanded in custody. 

As a consequence you will be subject to notification requirements indefinitely. I direct the Clerk of Court, at the appropriate time, to intimate the details of your relevant conviction to the Scottish Ministers so that they may determine if your name should be included on the lists of persons unsuitable to work with children.”