HMA v JAMES ANDREW ROBERT REEKIE

At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Pentland imposed an extended sentence on James Reekie with a custodial period of 10 years imprisonment and an extension period of 5 years after he pled guilty to offences concerning the sexual abuse of children.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

20 December 2013

“James Reekie, you have pled guilty to three serious charges, each of which concerned the sexual abuse of children.  The first two charges arise from your having downloaded onto two computers more than 500 images and videos of children being sexually abused.  You engaged in this behaviour over a period of several months.  I note, in particular, that you downloaded a significant number of videos categorised at level 4 in terms of the Definitive Guideline.  These are the type of videos which would typically involve penetrative sexual activity involving a child or children.  It is clear that over the period referred to in charges 1 and 2 on the indictment you were downloading child pornography on a significant scale. 

I note from the risk assessment report that you were in the habit of smoking cannabis whilst searching on the internet for child pornography.  You admit having organised and transferred the downloaded material into particular files and folders in an attempt to conceal your activities.  That is an aggravating feature of the first two charges. 

In sentencing you on charges 1 and 2, I bear in mind that each of the children who has been photographed or filmed in order to produce the pornography has himself or herself been a victim of sexual abuse by whoever made the film or took the photographs.  Moreover, persons like you who decide to view and download such material sustain the demand for further abuse of children to occur in the production of new pornography.  It requires to be made clear that anyone who views or downloads child pornography is liable to face criminal prosecution and sanctions. Society has an abhorrence of the sexual abuse of children and it is part of the court's responsibilities to reflect this in sentencing sex offenders. 

In your case matters did not, however, stop at viewing and downloading child pornography.  You quickly progressed from watching child pornography to actually committing an offence of sexual abusing an 11 month old girl in the depraved and revolting manner described in the narrative of the third charge on the indictment.  Again, you had been smoking cannabis before committing the offence.  The child was alone in a bathroom of a house where you were an invited guest. She was particularly vulnerable because of her young age.  She would not have been likely to report what you did to her.

This offence certainly involved a gross breach of trust on your part and, as it seems to me, it also involved a degree of deviousness and planning by you.  It is a particularly serious aggravating feature of the offence that you filmed yourself abusing the child on your mobile phone and later transferred the video to one of the computers on which you had downloaded the material I have already referred to.  Your purpose must have been so that you could replay the abuse of the child for your own further sexual gratification.  You would moreover have been able to share the abuse with others.  In the whole circumstances, I am in no doubt that I must take an extremely serious view of charge 3.

I have given careful consideration to the reports before me and to all that has been said on your behalf.  I have also taken account of the victim impact information provided by the child’s mother. 

You are a mature man of 28 years.  I acknowledge that you have no previous criminal convictions and that you have now expressed remorse for what you did. 

After very careful consideration of your case the accredited risk assessor has concluded that you may be amenable to change and manageable if the measures identified in the risk assessment report are followed through.  You have expressed a willingness to cooperate in addressing your problems whilst you are in custody. In the particular circumstances of your case I am satisfied that the opinion of the risk assessor as to the level of risk you present to the public is soundly based. 

In the circumstances, I intend to impose an extended sentence on you for the purposes of public protection.  It is clear that you have a deviant interest in young children and that you will require a substantial amount of treatment whilst in custody and that this will have to be followed by close supervision and monitoring over a lengthy period.

On charge 1 (taking or permitting to be taken indecent photographs of children) and charge 2 (having in your possession indecent photographs of children) I intend to impose a cumulo sentence of 3 years imprisonment. Had you not pled guilty, the sentence would have been one of 3 years and 6 months. 

That sentence will be backdated to 29 July 2013.

As to charge 3 (sexual abuse of a young child), I intend to impose an extended sentence.  This is necessary because of the risk you present to public safety.  Mr Fyffe accepted that an extended sentence was necessary.  The custodial part of this will be 7 years, reduced from 10 years because of your guilty plea.  The extension period, during which you will be subject to close supervision and monitoring, will be 5 years.  I have to inform you that if you breach any of the terms of your release licence during the extension of your sentence, you are liable to be returned to custody.

The sentence on charge 3 will run consecutively to the sentences I have imposed on charges 1 and 2.

The result is that you will go to prison for a total period of 10 years and, upon your eventual release, you will be subject to an extension to your sentence of 5 years.

You will remain subject to the notification requirements applicable to sex offenders for the rest of your life.  Your name will be added to the list of persons deemed unsuitable to work with children.”