HMA v ROBERT DAVID ANDERSON

At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Armstrong sentenced Robert David Anderson to 8 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of the sexual abuse of three young girls from 1991 to 1999.

On sentencing Lord Armstrong made the following statement in court:

28 March 2014

“Robert David Anderson, you have been convicted of five charges which involve the calculating, manipulative and predatory sexual abuse of three young girls in relation to whom you were in a clear position of trust.  So far as the first girl was concerned, the abuse which you perpetrated on her took place when she was only between 4-5 years of age. So far as the second girl is concerned, it took place when she between 3- 9 years of age. So far as the third girl is concerned it took place when she was between 6-8 years of age. The conduct in respect of which you have been convicted extended throughout the 1990s, from 1991to 1999, and involved a catalogue of sexual abuse including you inducing the girls to masturbate you and perform oral sex on you, digital vaginal penetration and on one occasion penile anal penetration. With the exception of the last of these categories, you abused these girls regularly and repeatedly throughout the relevant periods, to the extent that they came to consider it normal. In the case of two of the girls you threatened them in order to ensure their silence.

I have read a victim impact statement prepared by one of the women concerned and, in the course of your trial, I heard the evidence of all three as to the effect your conduct had, and continues to have, on them, their emotional health and their own relationships.  The lasting effect of your conduct on them may be incalculable. You are responsible for callously robbing these women of the innocence of their childhood and forcing upon them experiences which no child should have.

I have taken account of what has been said on your behalf, and I have also had regard to the content of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report now made available to me.   I note that a risk assessment model included in that report assesses you as presenting with a profile which suggests a moderate risk of re-offending, given your lack of any remorse, refusal to take responsibility for what you have done and your apparent lack of empathy towards the victims of your crimes .  However I also acknowledge that these crimes, having occurred many years ago, are now historic, that you are for the purposes of the sentence which I must impose, a first offender, that you have not come to the attention of the authorities since the events I have described, and that you have had a good work record, including service for your country in the armed forces.

These crimes of which you have been convicted are disturbing and grave.  Society has an abhorrence of such conduct and it is the responsibility of the court to reflect that.  It is important that those who might be disposed to commit crimes of sexual abuse against children, in the way that you did, understand that they are likely to receive significant custodial penalties once brought to justice. I am satisfied that, in your case, there is no appropriate alternative disposal to one of imprisonment.

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 provide you with a  notice of the requirements with which you must comply.

Although the charges of which you have been convicted involve three different women, they comprise, essentially, a single course of conduct, and I will sentence you on that basis by imposing a single cumulo period of imprisonment.  Having regard to all of the circumstances of your case, that sentence is one 8 years imprisonment.

That sentence will be backdated to 21 August 2013 when you were first detained in custody in relation to these charges.”