HMA v Frazer Neil 2019

Mr Neil who was found guilty of the murder of his ex partner has had his appeal against sentenced refused. Mr Neil appealed to the High court in Edinburgh against the punishment part of his sentence in which he was ordered to serve at least 19 years behind bars. Mr Neil’s legal team argued the punishment part of the sentence was excessive. Mr Neil was found guilty after trial of the murder of Ms Doran’s in Edinburgh.

His defence was that he could not remember what happened during the killing, due to complete memory loss, but admitted he has killed his ex partner. The appellants leave to appeal against his conviction was refused. During the trial evidence was led by the crown that the appellant was controlling of the victim an it was described by the trial judge as a “premeditated murder”. The appellant argued, however, that his sentence should be reduced as he was a first offender. The appeal court did not agree that the 19 year punishment part of the sentence was excessive. Lord Menzies concluded at the hearing: “In the present case we are satisfied that the sentencing judge did indeed take the particular circumstances appropriately into account.

As was accepted by senior counsel for the appellant, she was entitled to take the view that this was a premeditated murder, and it is clear from the terms of the pathologist’s evidence that the appellant compressed the neck of the deceased for a relatively long time. This was a premeditated murder involving prolonged compression of the neck and the use of extremely high force. It is clear from her report that the sentencing judge took account of the deletions from the libel, that the appellant was 25 years old with no history of violent offending, and who had been in employment and made a contribution to society by undertaking voluntary work in a caring role. She also took account of his epilepsy and mental health issues.” The appeal was therefore refused.