HMA v Griselt Maranaku & Elton Bega

At Glasgow High Court today (19 June 2020) Judge Murphy QC sentenced Griselt Maranaku and Elton Bega after they were found guilty of serious sexual offences. Griselt Maranaku was sentenced to 4 years and 7 months imprisonment and Elton Bega was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment.

On sentencing Judge Murphy QC made the following statement in court:

“Griselt Maranaku. You have been convicted of a very serious sexual offence which in your case happened repeatedly, by having intercourse before and after the involvement of your co-accused, on each occasion without the consent of the complainer, in her own home.  To you she was a stranger before the night of the incident but as a consequence she sustained psychological harm, having become depressed, withdrawn and lacking in confidence from the date of the offence all the way to the present time.  The court must pass a substantial custodial sentence in order to punish you for your offending behaviour, to deter others from considering such conduct and to reflect society’s abhorrence at your crime.

I take into account the fact that this offence appears to have occurred spontaneously, without any degree of pre- planning.  I note that you have not previously offended.  The reports before me do not support the passing of an extended sentence in your case and the registration requirements imposed by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 appear to me to meet the concerns for monitoring your future behaviour expressed in the Clyde Quay assessment as you will be subject to those requirements for an indefinite period of time.

Taking all of these factors into account, I consider that the appropriate sentence in your case is one of 6 years imprisonment.  However, I am required in your case to take into account the time which you spent on remand in prison between January and September of 2019 which is the approximate equivalent of the first 17 months of such a sentence; accordingly, you will serve a sentence of 4 years and 7 months’ imprisonment, which will be backdated to run from 6 March 2020, the date on which you were convicted and remanded in custody for the second time.

Elton Bega. Essentially the same considerations apply in your case and the same reasoning applies for the imposition of a significant custodial sentence.  You also have been convicted of taking part in a serious sexual offence to the injury of the complainer in her own home.  I will take account of the fact that although you joined in the criminal sexual activity, in your case that was for a shorter period and involved a single act of non-consensual intercourse on your part.

You too are a first offender. The nature of this conviction is likely to prevent you from ever being able to pursue the career in nursing for which you are qualified.

I find the recommendation in the report relating to an extended sentence to be confusing and difficult to consider in your case, and based in part on an inaccurate understanding of the evidence given at the trial; accordingly in your case also I have decided that the registration provisions of the 2003 Act are likely to be sufficient for the protection of the public.  You too will be subject to those requirements for an indefinite period.

In all of these circumstances you will be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 4 years.  In your case also the sentence will be backdated to 6 March 2020, the date on which you were remanded in custody on conviction.”