HMA v JAMES SMITH

At the High Court in Aberdeen Lord Pentland sentenced James Smith to 10 years imprisonment after he pled guilty to sexual abuse and rape.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

“James Smith, you pled guilty at a preliminary hearing to charges of repeatedly raping two children when they were each aged between 13 and 16 years.  The charges cover periods of time between January 1994 and November 1997 in the case of your first victim and between May 1999 and May 2003 in the case of your second victim.

The agreed narrative of facts makes it clear that the rapes occurred frequently during those periods of time.  These girls were vulnerable children with difficult and unhappy backgrounds. The victim impact information provided to the court makes it clear that your victims have suffered devastating long-term effects as a result of your prolonged abuse of them. 

I have taken account of all that has been said on your behalf today and of the information contained in the Criminal Justice Social Work Report.

These offences involved an utterly deplorable and sustained breach of trust on your part.  In order to reflect the gravity of your crimes and society’s abhorrence of the sexual abuse of children, I consider it necessary that a substantial period of imprisonment should be imposed on you. Had you not pled guilty at the preliminary hearing I would have sentenced you to 13 years imprisonment.  I am required by law to consider what discount should be extended to you because of your early plea.  I accept that this has had some utilitarian value; your victims have not had to give evidence and a trial has been avoided. In the exercise of the discretion conferred on me, I shall reduce your sentence to one of 10 years imprisonment backdated to 1 May 2013.  This is a cumulo sentence imposed in respect of charges 4 and 9 on the Indictment.

I have already made the appropriate orders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007.