HMA v George Thomas Currie

At the High Court in Glasgow on 6 September 2017, Lord Arthurson sentenced George Thomas Currie to eight years' imprisonment after the accused was convicted of rape and other sexual offences.

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

“George Thomas Currie, on 7 August you were convicted unanimously by a jury of very serious sexual offences of violence and sexual violence against two young women who were both in their late teens when you committed these crimes. Charges 2 and 8 on the indictment were charges of repeated domestic violence over periods of months against each one of your victims.  Charges 3 and 5 were charges of rape, with the first of the complainers as your victim; and charges 9 and 10 were charges of rape in terms of section 1 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, while on bail, with the second complainer as your victim. The offences in charges 5 and 9 involved the rape of each of the respective complainers on various occasions, again over a period of months. I have had the opportunity to consider Victim Impact Statements from the complainers, both of whom have clearly been traumatised by your crimes against them.

“Your criminal record is deplorable. You have accrued 26 groups of convictions between 2006 and 2016. It is of note that six of these convictions have been at indictment level. Your offences of violence have included assault and attempted robbery with a knife, assault with intent to rob with a bottle, assault to injury with a screwdriver, assault and robbery while on bail with a stun gun, and assault to severe injury while on bail. Other weapons related offences on your record have involved a truncheon and a knuckle duster. You also have accrued a post‑offence conviction, in May this year, once more on indictment, for assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement, while on bail. To date you have served four custodial sentences, and been the subject of numerous community based orders.

“A Criminal Justice Social Work Report has been made available for this sentencing hearing. It rehearses your full personal circumstances, and the consequences for you in particular of the acquired brain injury sustained by you at a very young age. It also details the long history of your abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. Even now, the author states, you remain a regular abuser of cocaine. You have been assessed by the author of the report as presenting a high risk of further sexual offending and domestic violence.

“I have listened carefully to your counsel, the Dean of Faculty, and taken into account the helpful points he has made in mitigation on your behalf, in particular regarding your vulnerable status as one subject to substantial cognitive difficulties and the consequent lack of control mechanism available to you in certain situations.

“In all of these circumstances, however, a substantial custodial sentence is inevitable today, standing the serious nature of these offences, the terms of your criminal record, and the assessment of the level of risk which you present as set out in the Criminal Justice Social Work Report. Nevertheless, I very much appreciate, having read the case manager’s report tendered at the bar this morning, that you are undoubtedly a vulnerable adult with a significant cognitive function impairment.

“I now sentence you for these offences as follows: first, on charges 2 and 8, the offences of assault to injury, the sentence is one of two years' imprisonment in cumulo, backdated to the date of your remand in custody by this court, namely 7 August 2017; and second, on the two charges of rape and the two charges of rape in terms of section 1 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, the sentences in each of these charges, namely charges 3, 5, 9 and 10, all to be served concurrently with each other, but consecutively to the custodial period imposed in respect of charges 2 and 8, are sentences of six years' imprisonment on each charge respectively.

“You will accordingly serve a total period of imprisonment of eight years, to run from 7 August 2017.

“Finally, as a result of these sentences, you are now subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”