HMA v Stephen Reeson

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Armstrong sentenced Stephen Reeson to 4 years in prison after he pled guilty to sexual offences against a minor.

On sentencing Lord Armstrong made the following statement in court:

"Stephen Reeson, you have pleaded guilty to a contravention of section 42 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, in that you repeatedly had sexual intercourse with a minor over a period of some 9 months when she was only 14 and 15 years of age.

I have taken account of everything said by your counsel on your behalf. I note that you accept full responsibility for your actions and that you have expressed remorse. I have also had regard to the content of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report now made available to me.

I acknowledge that you have no previous criminal history.

Having said that, the offence of which you now stand convicted is a grave crime against which young women must be protected. That being so, the Court will not flinch from making it plain that such crimes will attract a significant prison sentence. I am satisfied that in your case there is no appropriate alternative to a custodial disposal.

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 certified copy of the notice of the requirements with which you must comply.

The maximum period which can be imposed in a case such as this is a period of imprisonment of 5 years. Taking all the factors which I have mentioned into account and exercising such leniency as I can, having regard to your personal circumstances, but having regard also, in particular, to the facts that your crime involved a gross breach of trust and penetrative sexual intercourse with a girl who was not yet even 16 years of age, I sentence you to a period of imprisonment of 4 years. That sentence will be backdated to 24 January 2015 when you were first detained in custody in relation to this charge".

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