HMA v ASIF REHMAN & ADEL ISHAQ

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Uist sentenced Asif Rehman and Adel Ishaq to detention for life after they were found guilty of the murder of William McKeeney in Glasgow on 15 January 2012. The punishment parts were fixed at 16 years and three months for Asif Rehman, and 16 years for Adel Ishaq.

On sentencing Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

“You were each convicted by the jury at Kilmarnock High Court of the murder of William McKeeney in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow about half past midnight on 15 January this year. Mr McKeeney, a 57 year old friendly and popular working man who was well liked in his local community, was walking home with a fish supper in his hands after having been out for a Saturday night drink. For no reason whatsoever he was set upon in the street by you two when he had almost reached his home and subjected to a brutal and merciless attack which robbed him of his life. This attack, which consisted of causing him to fall to the ground and repeatedly punching, kicking and stamping on his head and body, was witnessed by his girlfriend from the window of their home. Such was the ferocity of the violence being employed by you that she thought that you were breaking up a piece of furniture in the street and it was only when she stood on a trunk to get a better look that she realised it was a person. She then ran outside and discovered that it was Mr McKeeney. He was unconscious as a result of the violence which you had inflicted upon him and he died in hospital about three hours later due to haemorrhage from damaged blood vessels in his abdomen. At the end of your attack upon him you each walked away leaving him lying on the roadway in a critical condition and callously did nothing to help him. 

It is clear to me that the two of you, having earlier taken drink and drugs, were out together that night roaming the streets of Pollokshields looking for trouble. Unfortunately for Mr McKeeney you came across him when he had almost reached home. His girlfriend and close family members have been devastated by his untimely death and nothing that I say today can diminish their grief and sorrow. It is a shocking indictment of the state of our society that an innocent man should be murdered in a public street outside his own home in this manner. Senseless violence of this kind must be suppressed so that public safety can be maintained.

The sentence for murder is fixed by law and I am about to impose that sentence on each of you. I must also fix a punishment part of each sentence, which will be the period which must be spent in full in custody before you can even make an application to be released on licence. I am in no doubt that each of you constitutes a serious danger to the safety of the public, but that is a factor which I am obliged by law to leave out of account when fixing the punishment part of each sentence. The question of what risk your being at liberty poses to the safety of the public is one for the Parole Board for Scotland to determine when you do eventually apply to be released on licence. You must not assume that you will be released from prison at the end of the punishment period fixed: you will be released only when the Parole Board for Scotland is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be held in custody.

I now turn to deal with each of you in turn.

I deal first with you, Asif Rehman. You will be 21 years old in less than a week. The social work report on you makes grim reading indeed. You have never earned a living and have pursued from the age of 14 a criminal lifestyle, involving the abuse of alcohol and drugs. In June 2007, when you were only 15 years old, you were convicted of four crimes of violence and sentenced to two years six months detention. After your release from that sentence you twice breached the terms of your licence and were recalled to custody. On 25 July 2011 you were convicted of assault and sentenced to a community payback order, to which you were still subject at the time you committed this murder. You were also subject to a bail order granted on 19 September 2011. I sentence you to be detained for life and fix the punishment part of your sentence at 16 years 3 months, of which 3 months is attributable to the bail aggravation. That sentence will run from 20 January 2012.

I turn now to deal with you, Adel Ishaq. You reached the age of 20 only last month. You also have never held down a job and you already have a bad criminal record, dating from your early youth. On 3 December 2008, not long after you had reached the age of 16, you were sentenced to 20 months detention for two charges of assault and robbery and one charge of robbery. On 15 June 2010, when you were still only 17 years old, you were sentenced to 18 months detention for breach of the peace. I sentence you to be detained for life and fix the punishment part of your sentence at 16 years. That sentence will run from 20 January 2012”.