HMA v Ryan Wilson

At the High Court in Aberdeen Lord Woolman sentenced Ryan Wilson to 16 months in prison after he pled guilty to a number charges, including one charge of sexual assault.

29 March 2017

On sentencing Lord Woolman made the following statement in court:

"Sometime in late 2014 or early 2015 you were left alone with a baby girl for a short period. You kissed her and put your tongue in her mouth. You also recorded the incident and sent the video clip to another man with whom you were then in a relationship. The clip lasted 10 seconds.

Subsequently, the police found the clip on the other man's electronic tablet. On further investigation they found indecent videos of children on your two mobile phones. Two were in the most serious classification, category A. One longer clip was in category B. There was also a still image in category C.

You have pled guilty to four charges arising out of that conduct. The most serious is charge 4: sexual assault on a young child contrary to s20 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009.

In advance of today's hearing, I have carefully read and considered:

  • the narrative given by the procurator fiscal at Elgin sheriff court,
  • the sheriff's note,
  • the two Criminal Justice Social Work Reports dated respectively 13 December 2016 and 23 March 2017,
  • the psychological report.

Having regard to the content of those documents and everything said this morning by Mr Crowe, I take into account the following factors in mitigation:

  • you had a difficult childhood with periods in foster care,
  • you are a first offender,
  • you are relatively young at 29,
  • you have a good employment history,
  • you have, however, significant health problems,
  • you fully accept your guilt,
  • you are genuinely remorseful,
  • the author of the CJSWR assesses you as being at moderate risk of re-offending.

I accept that your former partner exercised a malign influence upon you. You terminated the relationship once you appreciated where it might lead you. But you are responsible for the acts you committed.

Having regard to the requirements of punishment, deterrence, and denunciation only a custodial sentence is appropriate.

Charge 4 involved a serious abuse of trust. Babies claim our protection. The author of the CJSWR states that although you caused no injury to the baby in this case, there was significant harm to her mother and family. I regard a headline sentence of two years' imprisonment as appropriate on that charge.

With regard to the remaining charges, while you had relatively few indecent images, you yourself made and distributed one. I consider a headline sentence of 18 months on each of charges (1), and (2) and 12 months on charge (3) to be appropriate. Those sentences will run concurrently with the sentence on charge (4).

Because you tendered a plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity to the charges by means of a s76 letter, I shall discount one third from each headline sentence.

Put short I sentence you to a term of 16 months' imprisonment, backdated to 16 August 2016 when you were first taken into custody in respect of this matter.

You have already been placed on the Sex Offenders' Register. I now direct that you should remain on it for a period of 10 years. I shall also direct the clerk to intimate details of your convictions to the Scottish Ministers in terms of s14 of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007".