HMA v John Ryan Kilpatrick

At the Sheriff Court in Stirling today (22 November 2017) Sheriff P Di Emidio sentenced John Kilpatrick to 44 months imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to a number of non-contact sexual offences involving the use of the internet and offences of fraud and extortion, a total of 24 charges. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely. On sentencing Sheriff Di Emidio made the following statement in court:

On 4 October 2017 you pled guilty to a total of 24 charges on this indictment. These charges related to a variety of non-contact statutory offences under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, a contravention of section 52(1) (b) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and common law offences of fraud and extortion. All of these offences relate to the use of the internet and appear to have been committed within your own home. These offences related to 19 separate females living in various parts of the United Kingdom. 8 were between the ages of 13 and 16 and 5 under 13 years of age.

 Your actions caused a variety of effects. Some of those involved appear to have moved on in their lives. Some were deeply affected. You had no idea how vulnerable any of them might have been at the time. In some cases your interaction with individual females took place over a significant period of months. You had created, as your solicitor said in addressing the court in mitigation, a multi character fantasy world involving exotic locations and fictional social events. Unfortunately those you were in contact with in your bedroom in central Scotland interacted with that fantasy world to their detriment.

 Your solicitor in addressing me in mitigation pointed out that the criminal justice social work reports prepared for the court described your social isolation and lack of self-esteem. He emphasised your contrition from the point when your activities were uncovered and that there was no suggestion that you attempted direct contact with any of the females with whom you were in touch. You had engaged fully in the report preparation process. You had been anxious to resolve this case at the earliest opportunity and he had been instructed to that end to ensure that the Crown received full co-operation in getting to the point where this case could be resolved by pleas of guilty.  

 I accept that there is the utilitarian value of your pleas of guilty which is significant. I understand that there were a total of 40 Vulnerable Witness applications in this case. All of the females involved have been spared the need to give evidence at a trial. I accept that it would not have been possible for this matter to be resolved at an earlier date.

 Every single one of the charges you have admitted is sufficiently serious as to merit a jail sentence. Some of them involve multiple contraventions of the 2009 Act. On one view your crimes could attract sentences which would in total greatly exceed my sentencing powers in this court. Despite this I consider that it would be disproportionate to deal with this case in that way. I note that there was no contact involved in any of these offences but it is clear from the Crown narrative that significant levels of harm and distress were caused to the victims of your crimes.

 You used deceit to persuade the young females you were in contact with in internet chat rooms to engage with you. In some cases you went on to extort more images from some of them.

 It is important that the sentence passed contains elements that demonstrate the court’s expression of the need for punishment and deterrence to dissuade others from doing what you have done in this case.

 I propose to set out the sentence I would pass on each charge. Before I do that I will highlight those I consider to be particularly serious. This was a course of conduct and there are overlaps in time in relation to many of the offences. In what follows I have anonymised the details of the victims.

 Charge 3 relates to female A who was an older child between 13 and 16. It involved 50 images and took place over a substantial period of time.

 Charges 8 and 9 relate to female C who was 17. There was distribution of images.

 Charge 11 relates to female D who was 16. You extorted images from her despite her threats of self-harm.

 Charge 20 related to female H who was 12. You did not know her exact age but did know she was at school when you threatened her.

 Charges 27 and 28 relate to female J who was 17. There was fraud and extortion over a prolonged period.

 Charges 35 and 36 relate to female L who was 14. You knew her age and what you required of her caused her great distress over many months.

 Charge 37 relates to female M who was 12. You used threats in your interactions with her.

 Charge 48 relates to female P who was 12. You sent indecent images to her.

 Charge 57 relates to female Q who was 12. You made an arrangement to meet her.

 Charge 59 relates to female R who was 10. You knew her age and your comments demonstrated very clearly your concerning sexual interest in young females.

 List of individual sentences. These would have been consecutive except where otherwise stated.

Charge 3 – 20 months

Charge 5 – 18 months

Charge 8 – 20 months

Charge 9– 20 months concurrent with charge 8

Charge 11 – 18 months

Charge 12 – 12 months

Charge 16 – 12 months

Charge 18 – 12 months

Charge 20 - 18 months

Charge 23 – 18 months

Charge 27 – 18 months

Charge 28 – 18 months concurrent with charge 27

Charge 33 – 18 months

Charge 34 – 18 months concurrent with charge 33

Charge 35 – 20 months

Charge 36 – 20 months concurrent with charge 35

Charge 37 – 18 months

Charge 41 - 15 months

Charge 42 – 15 months concurrent with charge 41

Charge 45 – 15 months

Charge 48 - 12 months

Charge 57 – 6 months

Charge 59 – 24 months

Charge 62 – 9 months

 I have decided that the most appropriate way to deal with matters is to indicate that the omnibus sentence would have been 66 months for all these charges had it not been for your plea of guilty at the time it was tendered. I propose to allow a discount of one third in view of the utilitarian value described above.  The result is a sentence of 44 months imprisonment backdated to 4 October 2017 when you were remanded in custody.  The Sex Offenders’ Registration requirements will apply to you indefinitely.