Sunshine on Leith star Kevin Guthrie has been freed from prison after the actor won an appeal against his three-year prison sentence for sexual assault.
The 34-year-old actor was jailed for three years last May for preying on a female, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at a flat in Glasgow’s west end in September 2017.
Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how the attack took place at a property belonging to fellow actor Scott Reid – who shot to fame as Methadone Mick in BBC Scotland’s beloved comedy Still Game.
On Wednesday, lawyers for Guthrie failed in a bid to quash his conviction following a hearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.
But defence advocate Ian Duguid QC successfully argued that the sentence imposed on Guthrie was too lengthy given the circumstances of the offence.
Mr Duguid argued before judges Lord Carloway, Lord Pentland and Lord Matthews that people in similar positions to Guthrie were given shorter custodial sentences.
The appeal judges agreed and reduced Guthrie’s sentence from three to two.
The decision results in Guthrie being released from custody immediately as he has already served the equivalent of a two-year long prison term.
Lord Carloway told lawyers acting in the case that the court would issue its reasons for cutting Guthrie’s sentence in an opinion sometime in the near future.
During proceedings at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Guthrie denied any wrongdoing and said he had only “helped” the woman after she fell ill.
However, the jury was told that his DNA was found inside her underwear.
The 29-year-old woman had been due to meet the men at a bar in Glasgow but Mr Reid received a call from a taxi driver to collect her as she appeared ill.
He and Guthrie helped the woman into the flat in Glasgow’s Kelvindale and put her on a bed.
The court heard Mr Reid called NHS 24 and left Guthrie in the room “to make sure she was OK”.
The woman told the court: “I remember my top being lifted up and my bra being held down.”
She was groped by Guthrie before he performed a sex act on her.
Guthrie carried out a further two sexual acts and kissed her on the mouth.
The court heard he would stop when Mr Reid came into the room.
Guthrie, who also starred in the Fantastic Beasts films and Netflix series The English Game, was found guilty after a four-day trial and placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
Sheriff Tom Hughes placed Guthrie on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely told him: “The court must show that women can be protected from domestic sexual offences.”
He added: “The offence you have been convicted of caused distress and consequences to the young woman involved in this case.
“She was unwell and thought her drink had been spiked elsewhere that night.
“The jury accepted that you committed these heinous crimes and the only appropriate sentence is imprisonment.”
On Wednesday, Guthrie observed proceedings via videolink from Dumfries Prison.
Mr Duguid told the court that Mr Guthrie suffered from “defective representation” during his initial trial and should have his conviction quashed.
He added: “The case was not handled properly. There were failures in the case.”
The appeal judges refused to quash Guthrie’s conviction but agreed with defence arguments that the sentence imposed on him was too long.
A judgement explaining why Guthrie’s sentence was cut will be published sometime in the near future.