HMA v Scott Thomas

At Hamilton Sheriff Court, Sheriff Daniel Kelly QC, sentenced Scott Thomas to five years imprisonment after he was found guilty of sexually abusing two girls.

19 July 2016

On sentencing, Sheriff Kelly made the following statement in court:

"You have been found guilty of two serious charges. First, some years ago, you took advantage of a girl aged 13 and continued to sexually abuse her for some two years until she was no longer in your company, contrary to section 6 of the Criminal Law (Comsolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995. Sometime later, with an element of grooming involved, you moved on to sexually abuse a child when she was aged six or seven and engaged in lewd and indecent behaviour with her. Each child was subjected to a variety of sexual misconduct including digital penetration in both cases. In addition to having to live through these very difficult periods, the girls subsequently struggled by themselves over several years to come to terms with what had happened to them. When eventually family members were confided in and the police became involved, the trauma for both young women was such that, separately, each tried to take their own lives, taking overdoses and requiring hospital admission. While that in itself demonstrates the magnitude of the effect upon the two young women, the impact upon those who heard their harrowing testimony (with the jurors being offered the opportunity of counselling after the trial in order to support them from the trauma of listening to the evidence) is a further reflection of what each had to endure.

Although the abuse of one girl lasted for a longer period, the other child was a much younger age when it happened to her. I, therefore, propose to deal with both charges in a similar manner. Having regard to the seriousness of the offences, which you continue to deny, there is no suitable alternative to a custodial sentence. I shall impose a sentence of two years and six months’ imprisonment on each charge. These sentences will run consecutively with each other, totalling five years’ imprisonment, which is backdated to 1 July 2016. In consequence, the period to which you will be subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 will be an indefinite one."

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