HMA v EWAN MACKAY

Today at the High Court in Paisley Judge Rita Rae QC imposed an order for lifelong restriction on Ewan Mackay after he pled guilty to assault and rape. The punishment part of the sentence will be 10 years.

On sentencing Judge Rae made the following statement in court:

“Ewan Mackay you have pleaded guilty to a most brutal and sadistic attack on a young woman who was unknown to you.  The attack lasted several hours and the victim sustained life threatening, horrific injuries at your hands. You also forced her into the boot of your car on more than one occasion, detaining her there, repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her at various locations, and drove her some distance and through various streets between Edinburgh and Whitburn, arriving eventually at your own home where you had left your six year old son, alone and in bed.  On arrival at your house the victim was subjected to a further frightening incident and you only stopped because your son wakened.  As a result you became angry and forced your victim back into your car and drove off again.  It is fortunate that, after this final part of the attack, despite the severity and extent of her injuries, the victim succeeded in jumping out of the moving car to escape from you. One cannot even imagine the terror that this young woman must have suffered.   To say that the attack was frightening for her is an understatement and it is no wonder that she believed that she was going to be killed. 

You appear to come from a stable and settled upbringing and you have a good employment record.  You are, obviously, not unintelligent. You have repeatedly expressed remorse and shame for your actions.

On the other hand you have a significant and very serious previous conviction in the High Court and combined with the circumstances of the present offence, it is obvious that you are a serious danger to the public. You claim not to remember having committed this appalling crime.  In my view, that factor enhances any risk you pose because, if indeed true, it means, inevitably, that you are unable to recognise any triggers for your offending and to deal with them appropriately, without resorting to a violent sexual crime.

It is clear, from the very detailed reports before me, that you are considered to be a high risk offender and, in particular, you pose an ongoing risk of serious and potentially fatal harm to women in the future. 

I am satisfied therefore, on the information before me, and this appears not to be in dispute, that the criteria set out in section 210E of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 Act are met, namely, that “if at liberty, there is a likelihood that you will endanger the lives or physical or psychological well-being of members of the public at large”.  That being the case I am satisfied that I should impose in your case an Order for Lifelong Restriction and I so order. 

Such a sentence means that you will not be released from custody unless and until you are deemed to be no longer a serious risk to the public.  The decision whether and when to release you will be made by the Parole Board for Scotland.  If and when released, you will remain subject to continuing risk assessments and close supervision for the rest of your life. 

The law demands that I set a minimum period of imprisonment which you require to serve in prison to satisfy the requirements of retribution and deterrence.  You will not be eligible for release until you have served the full term of the punishment part.  In fixing that period I am not permitted to include any element of future risk and must sentence based on the circumstances of the crime before me and your record.  I must also have regard to what determinate sentence I would have imposed, had I not been imposing and order for lifelong restriction.

On the issue of a discount to the sentence, I would comment that prior to the trial date in August last year, this matter had been hanging over the head of the complainer for some considerable time and you did not plead guilty until the morning that the trial was due to start, when the complainer, all witnesses and jurors were present.   Prior to that there were at least eight preliminary hearings but no plea was ever offered.  Accordingly, I have decided that no discount should be allowed in this case due to the late tendering of the plea. 

Having regard to all of the circumstances before me I have decided that the punishment part should be set at 10 years. I shall back-date the sentence to 7 December 2009 when you first appeared in Court.  I have to advise you that having been convicted of a sexual offence, a notice will shortly be served on you under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, advising you of the notification requirements which you will be obliged to submit to on release”. 

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