HMA v Christopher Drummond and Alexander Stewart

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 6 October 2017, Lady Carmichael sentenced Christopher Drummond to seven years imprisonment and imposed an extended sentence of six years on Alexander Stewart after the two co-accused were found guilty of rape.

On sentencing, Lady Carmichael made the following statement in court:

“Christopher Drummond and Alexander Stewart, together you subjected the 19-year-old complainer to an appalling series of sexual assaults.

“Initially, you Christopher Drummond ordered Alexander Stewart to hold the complainer down. You Christopher Drummond then held the complainer down while you Alexander Stewart were on top of her.

“You Christopher Drummond then ordered Alexander Stewart to change places with you, and you, Christopher Drummond placed yourself on top of her and held her down. You Christopher Drummond, were at that point unable to achieve an erection, and ordered Alexander Stewart to penetrate her while you held her down.

“You Christopher Drummond told Alexander Stewart to ‘give that bitch what she deserves,’ although she was begging Alexander Stewart to stop.

“When you Christopher Drummond had an erection you ordered Alexander Stewart to swap places, and you then raped her yourself.

“You Christopher Drummond then started to drag the complainer from the bedroom and told Alexander Stewart to help you. You Alexander Stewart complied and together you pulled her into a kitchen area.

“You Christopher Drummond told Alexander Stewart to rape the complainer again in the kitchen area.

“You told Alexander Stewart that you were the boss in the house and that he must stop when you told him to. You told him, however, to continue to rape the complainer while you sat on a sofa trying to obtain an erection.

“You Christopher Drummond then ordered Alexander Stewart to put the complainer over the sofa and rape her there, and you held her by the arms while he did that.

“It was clear from the evidence that you, Christopher Drummond, dominated Alexander Stewart. That emerged from the evidence of the complainer and also from another witness who had seen you interacting earlier in the evening. She described your manner when you Christopher Drummond told Alexander Stewart to do certain things as one of commanding rather than requesting.

“Although you may not have known of Alexander Stewart’s particular limitations and vulnerability, given that you had been apart for many years and only recently reacquainted, as a matter of fact you did dominate him.

“That is consistent also with the content of the criminal justice social work report relating to you Alexander Stewart. I also have the benefit of a report by a consultant psychologist, in connection with other proceedings.

“Your intellectual functioning is in the borderline range. While you bear criminal and moral responsibility for your acts on 18 October 2016, I consider that you were someone who was prone to manipulation at the hands of Christopher Drummond and who was genuinely afraid of him on the basis of experiences you have recounted to the social worker.

“You have a limited capacity to stand up to dominant characters. You are particularly susceptible to suggestion and social pressure.

“Although you do not yet fully acknowledge your responsibility, you have begun to display some insight into the fact that you have committed a serious offence. You are assessed as being at medium risk of sexual offending and of violent offending in the future.

“You Christopher Drummond have a relatively extensive record of offending for a man of 23 and have had a number of custodial sentences. Most of your offending consists of breaches of bail conditions, failures to appear and breaches of court orders.

“You are, however, already subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.  Your previous sexual offending did not relate to non-consensual conduct, but did relate to activity with a girl under the age of consent when you were considerably older than she was.

“You have convictions for assault which have resulted in custodial sentences. You have a conviction for a breach of the peace in a domestic context.

“Your attitude to women as disclosed by the circumstances of the offences on this indictment, your record of offending and the contents of the criminal justice social work report is extremely troubling.

“You have been assessed as being at high risk of committing a sexual offence and other types of offences in the future. You pose a particular risk of offending against people who are unfortunate enough to be in your vicinity when you are in a heightened state of emotion, as you appear to have been on the day of these offences.

“I acknowledge that both of you have been subject to very serious disadvantage in the circumstances of your upbringings.

“In sentencing, I distinguish between you on the basis of the dominant role you Christopher Drummond played in this offending. I consider that Alexander Stewart not would have committed the offences without your instigation.

“I distinguish between you also on the basis of your Christopher Drummond’s record of offending, which already includes a sexual offence; on the basis of Alexander Stewart’s fear of you and vulnerability to manipulation at your hands; and on the basis of your respective ages.

“I have considered in each of your cases whether to impose an extended sentence. If I am to do so I must be satisfied that the period you would normally serve on licence is insufficient to protect the public.   

“In your case Christopher Drummond, I am imposing concurrent sentences of seven years each in relation to each of charges 2 and 3, backdated to 30 January 2017.

“Given the duration of that sentence I am not satisfied that it will be impossible to protect the public adequately by virtue of the treatment you will be offered in prison, the time that will be available for you consider undertaking that, and the time on which you would normally be supervised on licence, and I will not impose an extended sentence.  On charge 1 you are admonished.  

“Alexander Stewart, your counsel expressly invited me to impose an extended sentence on the basis that you will need supervision and support in the future.

“The limitations in your functioning mean that there is an enduring risk of your reoffending in circumstances where you are subject to influence and social pressure from others. It also limits your ability to some extent to benefit from the treatment that I understand you are willing to accept.

“The circumstances of this offence indicate that the type of offence you could commit might be a serious one.

“That being so I impose a custodial period of four years and six months detention, and an extension period of 18 months concurrently on each of charges 2 and 3 backdated to 31 August 2017. On charge 1 you are admonished.

“You will both be subject indefinitely to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.”

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