HMA v Richard McCormick

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 30 November 2016, Lady Carmichael sentenced Richard McCormick to eight years imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of sexually abusing children.

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

“Richard McCormick, the jury found you guilty of a series of charges of lewd and libidinous conduct directed towards five young females over a period of 30 years.    

The most serious of these charges, although not described in the indictment as an attempted rape, included amongst other conduct attempted penetrative intercourse with an eight-year-old girl. 

You have repeatedly taken advantage of opportunities to engage in the sexual abuse of young females over a very prolonged period.   

Rather than providing care and protection you have used five young girls as objects available for your sexual gratification. 

There was an element of grooming in your behaviour. You gave some of the complainers money, and more than one of them spoke to the helpful assistance that you rendered to their family, the provision of childcare and of providing treats, presents and trips. 

Some of the complainers made disclosures or partial disclosures during their childhoods. Ultimately your behaviour came fully to the attention of the authorities when you abused a young child as she sat on your knee playing computer games. 

In sentencing you I take into account that you are 69 years old and in poor health, having suffered a serious heart attack in 2014, and that you continue to require a considerable range of prescription medication. 

It is necessary that the sentence reflects the abhorrence in which society holds the sexual abuse of young children, and seeks to deter others who might offend in a similar way. There is no alternative to a custodial sentence having regard to the matters of which you were convicted. 

Charges 6, 7, 10 and 12 are all common law charges. I would have sentenced you to five years imprisonment for charge 7 alone, involving as it did the attempted rape of an eight year old girl amongst other conduct. In cumulo in relation to these offences I sentence you to eight years in prison. 

The remainder of the charges carry a statutory maximum of two years imprisonment each. I sentence you to one year each on charges 2, 3, and 6, and two years on charge 8, and 15 months on charge 11. These sentences will be served concurrently, and concurrent to the sentence of eight years. 

It would have been competent for me to impose an extended sentence in relation to certain of the later charges on the indictment. I am however not persuaded that that disposal is necessary having regard to your age, your state of health and the fact that the opportunity for you to offend in the future is likely to be significantly limited. 

The sentences are backdated to 12 October 2016. You will remain subject to the requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”

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