HMA v Eric Schrickel

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 17 May 2017, Lord Armstrong sentenced Eric Schrickel to seven years’ imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of rape and sexual assault.

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

“Eric Schrickel, you have been convicted of the violent rape and sexual assault of a vulnerable woman who was known to you.

Although I understand that you maintain your innocence of the charge of which you have been convicted, plainly, given their verdict, the jury did not accept your account of the events which took place in your home on the evening and night of 20 and 21July 2016.

On the basis of the evidence led in the course of the trial, I view your actions on that night as constituting rape of a particularly grievous nature.

I have taken account of everything said on your behalf, including  the fact that your schedule of previous convictions is relatively limited, that your previous life included the obtaining of professional qualifications and, for some time, a consistent work record, and that you have been in custody in relation to this offence since 2July 2016.

I have also had regard to the content of the criminal justice social work report (CJSWR) now made available to me, and a report by the Pathways Partnership project. It is plain form the terms of the CJSWR, that you lack any insight into the impact of your actions on your victim, and that you display no remorse.

Although you do have a criminal record, which I note involves previous convictions aggravated by a domestic context, you have not previously served a period of imprisonment. Having said that, however, given the nature of the crime of which you have been convicted, I am satisfied that there is, in your case, no appropriate alternative to a custodial disposal.

The crime of which you have been convicted, rape, is a grave crime against which all women should be protected. It is the responsibility of the court to recognise that society will not tolerate such conduct, and it is important that those who might be disposed to commit such crimes against women, in the way that you did, understand that they are likely to receive significant custodial penalties once brought to justice.

I have already made an order that you be subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. In light of the sentence I am about to impose, that requirement will be continued for an indefinite period of time. The clerk of court will provide you with a certified copy of the notice of the requirements with which you must comply.

In considering the duration of the sentence to be imposed, there are several material factors which require to be taken into account, namely (i) the level of violence employed by you, which caused your victim to sustain the injuries which were portrayed in the photographs led in evidence, and included you constricting her neck so that she passed in and out of consciousness in the course of the attack, (ii) the fact that  the attack was prolonged and sustained, and appeared to continue over several hours until such time as you eventually fell asleep, thus allowing the opportunity for your victim to escape, and (iii) the fact that, as you well knew, she was vulnerable and in your home as the result of you offering her refuge there from her other difficulties elsewhere. 

Having due regard to all of these factors, the sentence which I will impose is one of a period of imprisonment of seven years. That sentence will be backdated to 25 July 2016 when you were first detained in custody in relation to this charge.”