A brother and sister, who inflicted what a Police doctor called “some of the worst injuries I have seen in 18 years of clinical practice” on a woman, have been jailed for two years 9 months and for 21 months respectively.
Passing sentence on Scott Leonard Charles Furlong and Zoe Leonora Furlong in the Royal Court on Friday, Lieutenant-Bailiff Jurat Tony Olsen said that the sentences took account of the dreadful impact on the victim who, he said quoting one of the sitting Jurats, “had lost her friendship, lost her home and lost her mind."
The Court heard that Scott Furlong held down the victim in her own home, while his sister Zoe struck her at least seven times, according to an estimate based on the injuries treated by the Police doctor. “It was”, the doctor said, “a sustained assault with a pattern of frenzied punching with the right hand alternating with the left."
Summarising the facts, HM Attorney General Robert MacRae told the Court that Scott Furlong had inflicted a previous grave and criminal assault on the victim, which had resulted in a two-year prison sentence.
Pictured: HM Attorney General Mr Robert MacRae QC presented the case to the court.
At the time of the more recent assault on 7 December last year, his sister Zoe had been staying in the victim's flat and the three had been drinking together with a friend, who was also injured when he tried to intervene. Mr MacRae told the Court that although the sequence of events was not clear, both siblings were considered equally responsible for the injuries their victim suffered.
“Mr Furlong accepts that as a result of his actions, in concert with Miss Furlong, [the victim] sustained the injuries later recorded. They therefore share responsibility as they were acting in concert. [The victim] stated that during the assault: ‘I felt like I was being smashed in the face with a brick’,” Mr MacRae told the Court.
He described [the victim] as “an extremely vulnerable victim on any view” and told the Court that she sustained severe physical and mental injuries from which she had still to recover.
Pictured: The Attorney General recommended prison sentences for both siblings.
The Attorney General asked for a sentence of two years and six months for Scott Furlong to reflect the fact that he had “not a bad record but a very bad record”, and a sentence of 18 months for his sister, Zoe.
Advocate Ian Jones, representing Scott Furlong, admitted that there was very little mitigation available to his client in relation to the offence itself. However, he had pleaded guilty and had accepted full responsibility even though he did not strike any blows.
Nevertheless, argued Advocate Jones, the sentence sought by the Crown was wrong in principle because the disparity between the two siblings’ proposed jail terms failed to take proper account of the principle of joint enterprise under which they were charged. Although he accepted that his client’s poor record justified some distinction, he said that the gap was too wide and that, with reference to other cases, it was also excessive.
Pictured: Advocate Julian Gollop and Ian Jones were defending Zoe and Scott Furlong respectively.
Appearing for Zoe Furlong, Advocate Julian Gollop said that his client did accept the Attorney General’s conclusions in spite of the fact that a cogent argument for probation and community service might have been made instead.
He said that Miss Furlong had taken advantage of her time on remand in prison to try to combat an alcohol problem and was sober for the first time in two and a half years. “She recognises that she is better off receiving a custodial sentence at this time in her life,” Advocate Gollop told the Court.
After retiring for 45 minutes, Lieutenant Bailiff Tony Olsen, who was sitting with Jurats Jane Ronge and Pam Pitman, returned to Court to increase the sentences sought by the Crown.
Pictured: The Lieutenant Bailiff, Antony Olsen, was sitting with Jurats Jane Ronge and Pam Pitman.
These would, he said, have been even higher had it not been for the guilty plea offered by the defendants which had saved the victim the further ordeal of appearing in Court for an assize trial which had been scheduled for later this month.
The assault was aggravated by the fact that it took place in the victim’s home - the place where she was entitled to feel safe - and was therefore a gross abuse of her hospitality and friendship.
Scott Furlong was sentenced to two years and six months, and three months for the attacks on the victim and the friend that tried to defend her to be served concurrently, and a further consecutive sentence of three months for unrelated charges of malicious damage described as ‘mindless, wanton acts of vandalism’.
Pictured: The sentencing took place in the Royal Court.
Zoe Furlong received a sentence of 21 months for the grave and criminal assault the female victim and three months concurrently for the common assault on the male friend.
In addition, the Lieutenant-Bailiff imposed an order prohibiting the pair from contacting the victim on social media or entering or loitering near her home or workplace for a period of seven years.
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