HMA v Ross Muir

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 19 April 2017, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Ross Muir to eight years’ imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of the rape of an 11-year-old girl.

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

“Ross Muir, in October 2015 you drove to a pre-arranged meeting outside a house in Edinburgh.  When you were there an 11-year-old girl got into the car.

The circumstances as to how the girl came to be in your car are not clear to me and I do not believe that this court heard the full truth as to what happened.

There is however no doubt that you knew the girl was underage and the jury was in no doubt that you raped her both orally and vaginally.

Whether this was planned or opportunistic your behaviour was predatory in targeting a young girl.

You gave evidence on your own behalf. You explained the presence of your semen on the girl’s genitalia by telling the court that you had earlier been sitting in the car masturbating into a tissue.

You had thrown the tissue into the back seat. You assumed that when the child had left the car she had taken the tissue with her.

The implication of this story was that she had smeared herself with the tissue presumably in order to frame you for rape. You offered no explanation as to why she would do this.

This story was not only absurd but it shows that you were willing to accuse an 11-year-old girl of a sophisticated and malicious plot in order to try and escape responsibility for your actions.

You still deny the offence and consequently show no remorse.

You had apparently been taking new psychoactive substances or ‘legal highs’. Whether this had anything to do with the offence I do not know.

I have listened carefully to what was said on your behalf.

You are 36 years of age.

You are a first offender. I note that you are assessed as a moderate risk of sexually re-offending and low risk of general re-offending.

You have a good work record and a supportive family.

You have expressed a wish to gain academic qualifications in prison in order to make good use of your time and be better able to gain employment on your release.  

These are all positive features in your favour which I take into account.

I shall sentence you to eight years’ imprisonment, backdated to 16 March 2017.”