Domestic abuser loses appeal against conviction after judges dismiss ‘self-defence’ claim

g such an attack. In these circumstances, the sheriff was entitled to take the view that there was no evidence from which it could be inferred that the appellant might have been acting in self-defence.”

In relation to the sentence imposed it was argued that although a custodial sentence was appropriate, sentences selected were “individually excessive” as was the overall period of 30 months.

The sheriff had erred in considering that an SRO was necessary to protect the public from serious harm, having regard to the “limited nature” of the appellant’s record.

It was also submitted that given the “restricted nature” of the assaults, it was “inappropriate” to impose two indefinite NHOs.

‘Modest sentences’

However, the judges noted that the appellant’s criminal record included a conviction for wilful fire-raising in August 2013, which involved him setting fire to the home of an ex-partner who was resident at the time, for which he was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment.

Lord Carloway added: “The court is not satisfied that any element of the sentences imposed was excessive. Individually the sentences selected were relatively modest; no doubt because the sheriff took into account the cumulative effect of the consecutive sentences and reduced the individual elements accordingly.

“In particular, the appellant had a significant previous conviction for fire-raising and the adverse comments in the CJSWR, in relation to the danger which he posed to the public, were of considerable significance. On that basis, both the SRO and the Non-Harassment Orders were justified in the context, of course, that the latter can be varied or revoked in due course.”

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