HMA V Behroz Hamedi

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Friday 29 May, Lord Arthurson sentenced Behroz Hamedi to six years imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of the abduction and rape of a young woman.

On sentencing Lord Arthurson made the following statement in court

"Behroz Hamedi, on  9 March 2020 at Aberdeen High Court you were convicted of a single charge libelling the abduction and rape on 1 November 2018 of a young woman who had become separated from her friends on a night out in Aberdeen city centre and who was unknown to you and was at the time highly vulnerable due to her intoxication through alcohol.

You locked her in your takeaway food shop, having closed the premises and sent your assistant away for the night, and thereafter proceeded to perpetrate a sustained sexual attack upon her all as libelled. Police officers who attended looking for your victim found the premises in darkness and were unsuccessful in their attempts to force open the door.  Your defence of consent was plainly rejected by the jury.

This was in fact in my view an opportunistic sexual crime with a predatory component. The gravity of this offence means that the only sentence which can appropriately be imposed upon you today  will require to be a substantial custodial one.

You are 60 years of age and are in terms a first offender, in that you have one minor summary non-analagous conviction. You have a very supportive family and a strong and stable employment history. It would appear that this offence is wholly out of character for you. Nevertheless, in your discussions with the author of the criminal justice social work report prepared in respect of you for this sentencing hearing, you appear to have minimised your criminal conduct and accepted little or no responsibility for that. The author of the report has indeed assessed you as presenting a risk of serious harm, albeit he has concluded that there are no known public protection issues in respect of you.

I have listened carefully to the helpful submissions advanced by your counsel this morning and propose to take all the points that have been advanced on your behalf into account in determining the matter of disposal. I note in particular all that your counsel has said concerning your family circumstances, your work history and the loss of your business, your health and indeed your whole personal circumstances. I have in addition read with care the letters from yourself and your brother which were earlier submitted to the Court on your behalf together with the psychological report recently prepared in respect of you by Professor Macpherson.

Turning to disposal, I have decided in the whole circumstances and in the light of all of the material before me that an extended sentence is not merited in your case and that a significant determinate sentence with the usual licence provisions will provide adequate protection to the public in respect of the level of risk presented by you.

On this indictment therefore you will serve a sentence of imprisonment of 6 years duration, backdated to the date of your conviction and initial remand in custody, namely 9 March 2020.

Finally, as a result of this disposal, you will now be subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period."