HMA v Mark Duthie

At the High Court in Edinburgh today (20 May 2020), Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Mark Duthie to an extended sentence of 11 years after the offender was found guilty of a catalogue of physical and sexual assault.

On sentencing, Lord Boyd made the following statement in Court: 

“You were convicted after trial on 28 charges arising out of your relationship with seven women over a 15 year period. It is a catalogue of physical and sexual assault, in short domestic abuse of a serious nature. I saw each of your victims give evidence and I have read victim statements from two of them. It is quite evident that each one of them has experienced long lasting emotional and psychological trauma which is disproportionate to the immediate physical effects.

You have no conception of the harm that you inflicted on these women. You accept no blame and show little remorse. You have a record but you have never served a sentence of imprisonment.

It is clear from the social work report that you have both physical and mental health issues. You had an unhappy and disruptive childhood and no doubt that has contributed to your present situation. You attribute many of your problems to your consumption of alcohol. I have no doubt that is true but that is a self-induced problem of your own making. It is to your credit that you had begun to address that issue before remand in custody.

I have listened carefully to what counsel has said on your behalf. 

As a result of your conviction and the sentence about to be imposed you are subject to the notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.

You will be served with a notice confirming those requirements with which you must comply.

I considered whether to make an extended sentence as suggested in the criminal justice social work report. I am satisfied given the length of time over which these offences were committed, the controlling behaviour, the nature of the assaults and the number of victims that the criteria for an extended sentence is met.

On each of the rape charges 2, 20 and 21, I shall impose a sentence of 5 years imprisonment.

In respect of other charges while many of them are quite minor when looked at individually, together they represent a sustained course of physical and psychological abuse carried out over a long period of time against multiple partners. Accordingly on charges 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34, I shall impose a cumulative extended sentence of 6 years, of which 4 years shall the custodial part and two years extended.  

Charges 26, 32, 33 and 34 are aggravated by the fact that it involved the abuse of your partner. I have taken that aggravation into account in determining the appropriate sentence. Had I been sentencing you on these charges individually I would have imposed sentences of 4 months on charge 26 of which 1 month would have been attributable to the aggravation, 11 months on charge 32, 2 month attributable to the aggravation and 1 month each for charges 33 and 34 with no additional sentence for the aggravation. Further I have to consider whether or not to make a non-harassment order in respect of the victims in these charges. I have concluded that there is no need to do so given the length of the sentences imposed.

I shall admonish you on charge 17.

The sentences on charges 2, 20 and 21 shall be concurrent but consecutive to the cumulative sentence imposed on the other charges. The effect is that you will serve a sentence of 11 years of which the custodial part shall be 9 years with 2 years extended.

The sentences shall be backdated to 19 February 2020.”