HMA v Patrick Gwatidzo

At the High Court in Edinburgh Judge Arthurson QC sentenced Patrick Gwatidzo to an extended sentence of 10 years with a custodial term of 7 years after he was found guilty of sexual offences.

On sentencing Judge Arthurson made the following statement in court:

"On 16 June 2016 at Glasgow High Court you were convicted by a jury on substantial and compelling evidence of two extremely serious sexual offences against two unconnected young women in Glasgow, these offences having taken place in September 2010 and December 2014. Both of these young women were known to you, and you took sexual advantage of them while they were sleeping and unable to give their consent to what you did to them. Let me be quite clear: you violated two sleeping young women without their consent for your own sexual gratification in the manner of an opportunistic sexual predator.

You are quite entitled to maintain your position of denial of these offences. That is of course your right. The fact remains that the jury has convicted you of the offences and I will proceed to sentence you and read the terms of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report in the light of the stark fact of that conviction. You have expressed and displayed no remorse for these crimes. According to the author of the criminal justice social work report you appear to view yourself as the victim in this case and have indeed appeared resentful towards the young women who were the actual victims of your offending. You have been assessed as presenting a high risk of causing significant harm to women known to you. The author of the report has indicated that unless you are subject to intensive and effective offence-related work you will continue to present a serious risk of sexual harm to such known females. I have had the opportunity to consider the Victim Impact Statements completed by the two complainers who gave evidence at your trial and have read with care their accounts of the ongoing trauma and harm inflicted by your conduct upon them.

You have no previous convictions and are a well educated man with, among other qualifications, an honours degree in accountancy. You continue to receive, as has been made very clear to the court by your senior counsel Mr Allan QC this morning, the support of your current partner, your family and your many friends. Mr Allan QC has advanced powerful mitigation on your behalf, in particular in respect of these supportive and protective factors in your life, and I take into account all that he has said this morning. I have also considered the many references about your character made available to the court today. They are comprehensive and speak sincerely of the good you have done in the lives of your friends and indeed those who know you in a variety of capacities and also in the wider community both here in Scotland and in Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, you will appreciate that such is the gravity of the offences of which you have been convicted, there is no alternative to the imposition today of a substantial custodial sentence. On the basis of the evidence led before the jury in this case and the material contained in the criminal justice social work report, I have concluded that you represent a high risk of causing serious harm from which it is necessary to protect the public. In my view the normal period of licence would not be sufficient to protect the public from the risk which you present on your release from custody.

In these circumstances, I am therefore imposing upon you today an extended sentence, which is in two parts. The first part is a custodial part. That will be followed by an extension period in the community when you will remain under licence and under supervision. The conditions of your licence will be fixed by the Scottish Ministers. If during this extension period you fail to comply with the conditions of your licence, it may be revoked by the Scottish Ministers and you may be returned to custody for a further period in respect of this indictment. The court also has power to deal with you if you commit another offence after your release and while you are on licence.

I am imposing one sentence to cover both of the charges on the indictment, namely an extended sentence of 10 years, with a custodial term of 7 years and an extension period of 3 years. This sentence is backdated to 16 June 2016, being the date when your bail was revoked and you were remanded in custody in respect of this indictment.

Finally, as a result of this sentence, you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period".

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