HMA v WILLIAM MCLUCKIE

At the High Court in Glasgow Lady Wolffe sentenced William McLuckie to 7 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of sexual abuse of four girls over a period of more than 25 years.

On sentencing Lady Wolffe made the following statement in court:

28 April 2014

“William McLuckie, you have been convicted of 7 charges which involve calculating and predatory sexual abuse of 4 young girls, of different generations over a period of more than 25 years, and in respect of whom you were in a position of trust. In relation to the first girl, the two incidents of abuse occurred when she was in her early teens. In relation to the second girl, the abuse took place over a 10 year period when she was between 4 and 15 years old. In relation to the third girl, again the abuse took place when she was aged between about 3 and 11. The fourth girl suffered abuse at your hands for a period of some 4 to 5 years, beginning when she was just about three and one-half years old. You were about 18 when you abused your first victim. You were in your twenties when you abused your second and third victims, and in you early 40s when you abused your fourth victim.

The conduct in respect of which you have been convicted began in 1967 and persisted, apart from an interval of about 10 years in the 1980s, until the mid-1990s, and included exposing yourself to these girls, rubbing your penis against them, handling their private parts, occasions of digital penetration and masturbation in front of one of them,  and oral sex with, and attempted rape of, one of your victims. The abuse was carried out opportunistically, but regularly, throughout the relevant periods.

I have read an impact statement prepared by two   of the women concerned, and in the course of your trial I heard evidence from all four as to the effect your conduct had  - and continues to have- on them, and on their own emotional health and relationships. In the selfish satisfaction of your own lust you have robbed these women of the innocence of their childhoods. All have had lasting emotional damage, and your last victim was driven to self-harming and consideration of suicide.

I have taken into account what has been said on your behalf, and I have also had regard to the Criminal Justice Social Work Report now available to me. I note that a risk assessment model included in the report assesses  you as presenting with a profile which suggests a moderate risk of re-offending and you pose a high risk of serious harm  in respect of female children. It is particularly concerning that you continue, in the main, to deny the conduct of which you have been convicted, and to minimise your responsibility for it. You appear to have no insight into  your behaviour and its devastating impact on others. You have expressed no remorse for the wrong you have done or the harm you have caused.

I do acknowledge that many of these crimes, having occurred many years ago, are now historic and that, for the purpose of the sentence I am about to impose, you are a first offender. I note that you have not come to the attention of the authorities since the events which gave rise to the charges.

The 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 the 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.

The charges against you involve four different women. Different statutory regimes apply to some of these charges (and contain certain maximum periods of imprisonment);  other charges involve common law crimes. I shall accordingly sentence you separately in respect of each of the charges, as follows:

On charge  2, involving conduct contravening the Section 4 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1922, I sentence you to 12 months.

On Charge 3, relating to the second girl, and in respect of whom your conduct was the most serious and who was one of the youngest of your victims when the abuse commenced, I sentence you to 20 months.

Charges 4 and 5, also relating to the second girl but when she was aged between 12 and 15, involve the same conduct but fall under different statutory provisions (each with a maximum of two years). In relation to Charge 4, I impose a sentence of 20 months and in relation to Charge 5, relating to a relatively short period and reflecting the change of the   statutory provisions governing the same age of victim, three months.

Charge 6 involving attempted rape of the second girl, I impose a sentence of 3 years.

The sentence I impose on Charges 3, 4, 5 and 6 shall run concurrently.

On charge 7, relating to the third girl, I impose a sentence of 18 months.

On charge 9, involving the fourth girl, I also impose a sentence of 18 months.

As I have said, the sentences I have imposed on Charges 3, 4, 5 and 6 are to run concurrently with each other. However, the sentences I have imposed on the remaining charges 2, 7 and 9 are to run consecutively to each other and to the sentence I have imposed on Charges 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Accordingly, the overall sentence is one of 84 months, or 7 years.

The sentence will be backdated to the date on which you were detained in custody after trial, being 1 April 2014.”