HMA v David Phillips

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 17 April 2018, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced David Phillips to seven years' imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to serious sexual offences against four boys in the 1970s. On sentencing Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:

“You have been convicted on your own plea of some very serious sexual offences against four boys in the 1970’s.

“You may have thought that because some 40 years have elapsed since the offences that they would be forgotten about and the longer the time the less likely it was that you would be prosecuted.

“It is clear that your victims did not forget what happened to them. Indeed they all believe that your offending has had lasting effects on them, in some instances profoundly affecting their lives.

“In sentencing you I have to have regard to the nature of the offending which includes the sodomising of two of the boys, one of them repeated an estimated 50 times over five years.

“While it is to your credit that you have pleaded guilty it appears from the criminal justice social work report that while you may have accepted legal responsibility you have yet to come to terms with your guilt on these matters.

“I have listened carefully to what your counsel has said on your behalf. I take into account the fact that you are now 57 years of age.

“You have no other convictions recorded against you. You have a good work record and a wife who is supportive.

“I am satisfied that you do not pose a significant danger to the public. These are all factors which mitigate the sentence which I might ordinarily have imposed.

“Had you been convicted after trial I would have imposed a cumulative sentence of eight years imprisonment. In view of your plea I shall discount the sentence to one of seven years imprisonment. I shall backdate the sentence to 12 March 2018.”