HMV v Clive Weatherhogg

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lady Wolffe sentenced Clive Weatherhogg to six years imprisonment after the accused was convicted of sex offences including sexual coercion and uploading a film onto the Internet.

On sentencing, Lady Wolffe made the following statement in court: 

“This matter has been remitted to this Court because the trial sheriff decided that he had insufficient sentencing powers to deal with these matters. 

After trial, you were found guilty of three offences under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009. You had also pled guilty at trial after the Crown case to the fourth charge, concerning a breach of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

The first charge, under section 4 of the 2009 Act, involved sexual coercion of the complainer, by compelling her to engage in sexual activity and sexual intercourse with another man. You also filmed this. You followed this first crime, by sending parts of this image to the sister and, separately, to the father of your victim. These are the matters covered by charges 2 and 3. You further compounded this by sending an abusive text to your victim and by uploading the film to the Internet. This is the subject-matter of charge 4.

The trial sheriff described the profound psychological and physical degradation you subjected your victim to. He also described the distress caused to the two family members of the victim to whom you sent these images. The fourth charge he described as inflicting the grossest public humiliation and degradation on your victim. The above narrative is only a short summary of the trial sheriff’s report, which I have read and considered.

You have no previous convictions from a Scottish court.

I have considered the Criminal Justice Social Work Report and the separate Tay Project Assessment Report, directed specifically at sex offenders. You are assessed as posing a moderate risk of sexual re-offending and as having moderate treatment needs. While you are recorded as expressing regret or denying obtaining sexual gratification, the authors of those reports appeared not to be wholly persuaded by these statements.

I have also had regard to all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation. You did reasonably well at school, leaving with a number of grades and higher grades, and you also attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. You are proficient in a number of instruments as well as singing. After that education, you have worked in a variety of positions. It was stressed that you have always been a productive member of society.

You have a family, including three daughters. You are a first offender. You have found the months you have spent in prison on remand to be quite sobering. I have noted what has been said about the administrative mix-up that led to the delay in the production of the CJSW reports. In relation to the impression formed by the authors of those reports, I was asked to take into account that, to your counsel, you presented as co-operative. You are willing to engage in rehabilitative programmes. It was accepted on your behalf that these are serious matters, although you maintain your position in relation to charge 1. In relation to that charge, I was asked to treat this as less serious than rape under section 1 of the same statute. I was urged to be lenient, having regard to the facts that you are a first offender, have been a hard-working member of society and that you are keen to make amends.  

The crimes of which you now stand convicted are odious. They involved the sexual coercion of your victim, and then vilely compounding this by disclosing these images to her immediate family and, thereafter, by uploading these to a website on the internet. The sentence I pass must reflect society’s abhorrence of this kind of emotionally degrading and sexually abusive behaviour. I am of the view that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.

As these four crimes constitute separate statutory offences, it is appropriate that I impose separate sentences for each. In respect of charge 1, the sentence I impose is one of four and and one-half years. In respect of charges 2 and 3, I impose a sentence of 18 months. In respect of charge 4, I also impose a sentence of 18 months.

I next have to consider whether to impose these sentences to run cumulatively or consecutively. There are different complainers for the first three charges although, in substance, the victim of the first charge could not but be further humiliated by your perpetration of these 3 other charges. In the whole circumstances, I shall direct that the sentences imposed on charges 2, 3 and 4 to run concurrently with each other, but they shall run consecutively to the sentence imposed on charge 1.  

This will be backdated to the date when your custody in respect of this matter commenced, being 9 March 2016."