HMA V RYAN LAWSON 2018
Mr Lawson who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail after being found guilty of committing domestic abuse against two ex-partners has had an appeal against his conviction and sentence rejected. He was found guilty after Trial in Dundee of 3 charges of assault, two were on his former partners.
The appellant claimed he was acting in “self-defence” in relation to one of the charges of assault and also believed that it was very excessive that he was given a custodial sentence. However the appeal Court admitted that the sentence was justified and withdrew the self-defence claim as there was no evidence to support this.
The Sheriff at the first instance was not satisfied that he had to responding to an “immediate danger of attack” The Sheriff imposed a 3 month sentence for each assault charge and a further 3 months for other charges he was libelled on such as breach of bail. However, on appeal it was maintained that the sheriff had “erred” in withdrawing the special defence.
The appellant was adamant that he only pushed the victim to get her away from her after she was attacking him. Lord Justice General said: “The only direct evidence about this incident came from the complainer, who said that she had slapped the appellant, following upon his statement that he intended to have sexual relations with her sister.
The push which then followed, and which culminated in the complainer falling against the drawers, may have been a reaction to that slap. The jury appear to have held that this was so, given their rider of provocation.” Concluding that that this fell short of the self-defence. The custodial sentence was argued to be appropriate as a whole sentence but individually they were excessive, however this made little difference.