HMA v William King

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lady Wolffe sentenced William King to 5 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of three charges of sexual misconduct.

8 July 2106

On sentencing Lady Wolffe made the following statement in court:

"You have been found guilty after trial of three charges covering various forms of sexual misconduct toward two girls perpetrated against them some two decades ago.

In respect of your first victim, you have been found guilty of charge 1 of having unlawful sexual intercourse with her on various occasions and while she was no more than about twelve years old, contrary to section 3(1) of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 1976.

In respect of this same girl, you have been found guilty of engaging in lewd and libidinous conduct towards her on a number of occasions over a three year period, and when she was no more in her early teens and before she turned 16. This was contrary to section 5 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 1976.

Thirdly, in respect of your second victim, you have been found guilty of engaging in lewd and libidinous conduct at common law against her on various occasions over a three and one-half year period, and while she was under the age of 12.

You knew and had ready access to the company of both of these girls. At the time of these offences you yourself were in your late 20s or early 30s.

I have had regard to the Criminal Justice Social Work Report. You maintain your complete innocence of these charges. Accordingly, you do not acknowledge your responsibility for the crimes of which you have been convicted. By reason of that stance, the author of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report has concluded that the risk of re-offending is high.

I note that you have no previous convictions.

I note all that has been said in mitigation on your behalf, including the several criticisms of the terms of, and risk assessment made in, the Criminal Justice Social Work Report. Those comments are largely justified. I take into account the long passage of time since these offences, your age at the time and the absence of any previous convictions. You have been in employment all of your life. You accept that the verdict was one the jury were entitled to reach. However, you maintain your denial - as you have consistently done throughout the trial. On your behalf, it is accepted that a custodial sentence is inevitable.

I have considered all of the foregoing and have determined that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence. This was accepted on your behalf. The sentence I impose must mark society's abhorrence of the sexual abuse you committed over a number of years towards two young girls, who were vulnerable by reason of their age. However, the sentence I impose must also be in accordance with the statutory provisions in force at the time . It must respect the maximum sentence that could be imposed in relation to the statutory offences at the time they were committed and which, at that time, was 2 years.

In the light of the whole circumstances, the sentence I impose is respect of the three charges of which you have been found guilty is as follows:-

For charge 1, I sentence you to a term of 2 years.

For charge 2, the sentence I impose is one of 2 years; and For charge 3, the sentence I impose is 3 years.

The sentences I impose on charges 1 and 2 shall run concurrently. However, the sentence I impose on charge 3 shall run consecutively to the sentence imposed on charges 1 and 2. The total period of custody therefore is 5 years. I shall backdate this sentence to the date on which you were taken into custody, being 16 May 2016".