HMA v JOHN MCCALLUM

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Boyd sentenced John McCallum to 10 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of rape and lewd, indecent and libidinous practices.

30 September 2013

On sentencing Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:

“You have been convicted of a number of offences relating to the sexual abuse of two young girls approximately 30 years ago. These included a single incident of rape of girl A when she was aged 6 or 7. You were also convicted of 2 charges of using lewd indecent and libidinous practices against her when she was aged between 5 and 14. You were convicted of a single incident of rape of girl B who was then aged 7 or 8 and 2 other charges of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices against her. She too was between 5 and 14 years of age when you committed these offences.

I note from the CJSWR that you continue to deny your guilt on these charges and blame your defence team and young women on the jury for your conviction. However you were ably represented by Senior and Junior Counsel, you gave evidence on your own behalf and two of the convictions were unanimous, including the charge relating to the rape of girl A.

The sexual abuse of any young child is abhorrent. The impact and effects of such abuse, as we saw in this trial, can be serious and long lasting. I view the rape of the two young girls as being particularly serious, albeit that in each case it was confined to a single occasion. The fact that the girls were in an environment where they should have felt safe and protected is a further aggravation.

I take into account all that has been said on your behalf by Ms McMenamin. I note that you have worked all your life and supported both your families. I read the letter which was written for you. I have also read the letters written on your behalf by members of your family and by friends and business colleagues. It is clear that you have been a loving and supportive father and are held in high regard by the community. You have made a positive contribution to society through your hard work and your work with the boxing club of which you were President.

I note too that apart from two minor convictions, which I discount for the purposes of sentencing, you have not offended since these offences. The risk assessment contained in the CJSWR assesses you as being of either medium or low risk of re-offending depending on the model used. Given the time since the offences I concur with the overall assessment in the report that you are of low risk of re-offending.

I have already made an order that you be subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. In light of the sentence I am about to impose that requirement will be continued for an indefinite period of time. The clerk of court will give you a certified copy of the notice of the requirements with which you must comply.

While I take all the positive matters into account the offences of which you have been convicted are grave ones and require to be marked by a substantial period of imprisonment. The sentence of the Court is one of 10 years imprisonment. It will be backdated to 5th September 2013.”