HMA v ROBERT FALCONBRIDGE

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Doherty sentenced Robert Falconbridge to an extended sentence of 10 years after he pled guilty to downloading and distributing indecent images of children.

On sentencing Lord Doherty made the following statement in court:

“Robert Falconbridge, you have pled guilty to three very serious offences. Over a period of 2 years you accessed 11,367 indecent still images of children and 280 indecent video files of children. 2,109 of the still images were level 4 images in terms of the Definitive Guideline and 13 were level 5. 65 of the indecent video files were level 4 images and 1 was at level 5. Most of the indecent images involved male children aged between 5 and 15. The level 4 images showed penetrative sexual abuse of children. The level 5 images contained sadistic elements.

In addition to downloading images from the internet for your own use you distributed to, and exchanged indecent images with, another with whom you communicated on the internet during the period of just over three weeks referred to in charge 3.

You have previous analogous convictions from 1997 and 2004. In 2004 you were sentenced to 3 years imprisonment with an extension period of licence of 5 years. For part of the period during which the offences described in charges 1 and 2 were committed you remained on licence in respect of that sentence. You have been assessed by the author of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report as posing high levels of risk in terms of re-offending and harm to the public, specifically towards young boys aged between 5 and 15.

I have regard to what has been said on your behalf.  I give you credit for pleading guilty at an early stage.  However I am in no doubt that I require to impose substantial prison sentences.

In relation to charges 1 and 3 I impose a cumulo extended sentence of 10 years imprisonment, the custodial part of that sentence being 5 years and the extension period being 5 years. Had you not pled guilty the custodial part of that sentence would have been 6 years 4 months. That sentence will run from 16 August 2013.

In relation to charge 2 I sentence you to 3 years 2 months imprisonment. Had you not pled guilty the sentence would have been 4 years. This sentence will also run from 16 August 2013.”