HMA v Paul Brian Moffat

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 26 April 2017, Lord Matthews imposed an extended sentence of ten years on Paul Moffat after the accused was found guilty of raping and sexually abusing a four-year-old girl. The custodial element will be eight years, followed by an extension period two years on licence.

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

“Paul Brian Moffat, you have been convicted of seriously sexually abusing a young girl on various occasions at a time when she was around four or five years old. The precise number of times was not easy to discern from the evidence but it was more than once, as reflected in the verdict.

The abuse was aggravated by her age, by the condition from which you were suffering, namely genital herpes, and the fact that you were in a position of trust towards her.

She was an innocent wee girl who said in her first interview that she liked you because you gave her lots of kisses but later said, amongst other things, that she did not like what you did, that you were really bad, that she was happy that you were in jail, presumably meaning after your arrest, and that you were a rat.

No child should have to undergo not only the abuse but also the confusing emotions that that sort of conduct engenders, as her various statements have demonstrated.

I have read an impact statement written on her behalf but in reality no one can predict precisely how these events will affect her in later life.

I have listened carefully to everything said on your behalf and considered the terms of the Criminal Justice Social Work report. I take on board the fact that your record is minor and of no significance.

In all the circumstances of this case only a lengthy custodial sentence is appropriate. I am satisfied also that the provisions of an ordinary licence would not be sufficient to protect the public from serious harm from you on your release, so an extended sentence is necessary.

The sentence will consist of a custodial element and an extension period during which you will be subject to certain conditions set on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. Breach of those conditions could see you return to custody to serve out the remainder of the sentence.

The custodial element will be eight years and the extension period two years, making the whole sentence one of ten years to run from 16 March 2017.

You will be subject to the notification provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, the so called sex offenders register, for an indefinite period.”