HMA v Eric Francis Rafferty

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 23 March 2017, Lord Uist sentenced Eric Rafferty to 15 years’ imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of repeated rape and sexual abuse of young girls.

On sentencing, Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

“Eric Francis Rafferty, you were convicted by the jury at Aberdeen High Court of a total of seven separate offences consisting of the sexual abuse of four young girls many years ago.

These offences consisted of calculated, systematic and depraved sexual abuse of these children when the opportunity arose for you to engage in such conduct.

One girl was the subject of repeated rapes between the ages of six and nine, a second was the subject of repeated rapes between the ages of seven and 10, and a third was the subject of repeated attempted rapes between the ages of six and 12.

Apart from that, all four girls were subjected to the most abhorrent sexual practices by you.

These were unspeakably wicked crimes and your victims have all been deeply affected by what you did to them.

When interviewed by the police you made limited admissions, saying that you had ‘overstepped the mark’: in truth, there was no mark as far as you were concerned.

You even told the social worker who prepared a report for this court that you were in love with one of your victims.

It has taken a long time for justice to catch up with you, but the day of reckoning has now finally arrived.   

You are now 69 years old, have no previous convictions and had a good work record during your working life. I take into account the contents of the social work report and all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation.

Nevertheless, the gravity of the crimes which you committed against these four children must be marked by a very long sentence indeed.

On all charges taken together the sentence which I impose is 15 years imprisonment from 24 February 2017. 

As a result of that sentence you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.” 

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