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Excessive Sentence Reduced on Appeal

HMA v Alexander McKindlay 2019

Mr McKindlay has successfully appealed against his sentence with the imprisonment term being reduced to 18 months from 3 years.

Mr McKindlay was found guilty of failing to appear at a preliminary hearing at the High Court in Glasgow due to the fact that he had gone on holiday to Ibiza. The primary charge was one of rape in which he was acquitted. As a result of this charge of failing to appear he was sentenced to three years imprisonment. The appellant argued that the sentence was excessive and the Appeal Judges at the High Court in Edinburgh agreed. The appellant had an extensive record but none of the matters were of a solemn nature.

The basis of his custodial sentence was that he had delayed his trial after having to be brought back from Spain on a European arrest warrant which had caused great expense to the public purse. The sentence was therefore quashed and custodial sentence on 18 months imposed. Lord Justice General stated in concluding the appeal: “It is important to recognise that the diet under consideration was not a trial diet, but a preliminary hearing. Even taking into account the expense of the extradition process and the appellant’s previous convictions, notably the breaches of bail, the court is persuaded that the sentence is excessive.

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