At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 23 June 2014, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced David Robertson to a total of 15 years and four months imprisonment after he was convicted of 25 charges of sexual offences dating back to 1975.

On sentencing Lord Boyd made the following statement in court: 

“You have been found guilty of 25 charges of sexual offences against 16 victims, with the offences having been committed between 1974 and 2011. Seven of the victims were girls under the age of 16; two were adult women with learning difficulties and one of your male victims also had learning difficulties. There are three convictions of rape. These include the rape of girl who was then aged between five and six and the rape of two vulnerable women. The offences also include serious sexual abuse of a number of other children. 

No one who sat through the trial could fail to be moved by the accounts of abuse at your hands. One of your victims, P, said that the day the family moved away from Aberdeen was the happiest day of her life as she knew that she would be free from you. She was then aged nine. In a harrowing piece of evidence she described that after you raped her she had to bite on a towel when she went to the toilet to stop herself crying out because of the pain.

You have no insight or understanding of the effects your crimes have had on your victims. It is also clear from having listened to you give evidence, and from the reports that I have before me, that while you are prepared to make some admissions of guilt you are determined to minimise and play down the extent of your offending. 

You are man who is sexually attracted to pre- adolescent and teenage girls but your offending was not confined to them. The common pattern is vulnerability and control. You used your position of trust to select your victims. You were successful in concealing the nature and extent of your offending for almost 40 years. 

Those victims who first reported their abuse at your hands and who gave evidence showed courage and determination in bringing you to justice. Had it not been for them you would in all probability have continued with your predatory behaviour. They are to be congratulated for having come forward. I trust that they can now found some way of moving on from the ordeal that you inflicted on them. Mr Crowe tells me that you wanted to be caught while you were committing these offences. The fact is however that you continued to offend and caused significant harm to children and vulnerable adults. 

I have taken into account all that Mr Crowe has said on your behalf. I acknowledge that you appear to have engaged with the programmes designed to address your offending behaviour. I accept too that you have partially accepted your guilt. You are a man with significant health problems. While I accept that you are a first offender the significance of that is minimal given that it is now proved that you have conducted a course of criminal conduct for nearly 40 years without detection. 

While I have decided that the risk criteria are not met and accordingly that I will not make an order for lifelong restriction it is clear that while at liberty you pose a substantial risk to the public. I need to reflect that risk as well as marking the requirements of punishment and retribution in the determinate sentence which I impose. However I am satisfied that any determinate sentence that I could impose will not be sufficient to protect the public from serious harm. For that reason the sentence will be an extended one. During this time following your release from prison you will be subject to supervision and may be returned to prison if you commit a further offence or breach the conditions of your release. 

On the common law charges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16,17 ,19, 20, 21,22, 23, 26 and 28 you will serve a cumulo sentence of 12 years imprisonment. In reaching that figure I have taken into account the pleas that were offered in respect of charges 8, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, and 28. I have not taken into account the plea offered in respect of charge 3 as it was under as significant deletion which was not accepted by the jury.

On charge 6 the sentence is one year imprisonment. On charge 8 the sentence is one of four months reduced from six months in respect of the early plea. On each of charges 25 and 29 the sentence is one of two years and in respect of each it is reduced from three years in respect of the early plea. All of these will be concurrent to the sentence of 12 years. 

On charge 24 the sentence is an extended sentence of 13 years four months of which three years four months will the custodial part and 10 years the extended part. Had it not been for the early offer to plead the custodial part of the sentence would have five years. This sentence will be consecutive to the sentence of 12 years in respect of the common law charges. 

I will admonish you on charge 30. 

The effect of these sentences is that you will go to prison for a total of 15 years four months which will followed by 10 years extension where you will be subject to the conditions of supervision. 

The sentence will be backdated to 21st May 2013.”