HMA v David Jack

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 11 May 2018, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced David Jack to seven years' imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of historical child sex offences, including rape, attempted rape and lewd, indecent and libidinous behaviour.

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

“I have listened carefully to what has been said and read the testimonials submitted on your behalf. It is clear that you are a well-liked and respected member of the community. Those who have written on your behalf are clearly shocked and express disbelief that you should find yourself in this position.

“But it appears that for nearly 40 years you have harboured a dark secret. Between 1977 and 1980 you abused three young girls.

“That abuse included the rape and attempted rape of one girl and the rape of another on two separate occasions.

“The girls were aged four and eight at the time. You were nearly 30 years old with a wife and family of your own.

“I note that you continue to deny your guilt. That is a matter for you but I have to deal with the verdict of the jury.

“As a result of your conviction and the sentence I am about to impose you are subject to the notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.

“The clerk of court will serve upon you a notice confirming those requirements with which you must comply.

“The sexual abuse of children is an abhorrent crime particularly where the offences are as grave as rape. Victims often face long term problems in coming to terms with the abuse that they have suffered.

“I have read the victim statements. It is clear that your offending has had profound and lasting effects on their lives.

“Society rightly expects that those convicted of such serious offences will receive a significant custodial sentence. However, I have to balance the interests of justice.

“You are no longer a young man. Given the long time that has passed between this offending and your conviction without any other offending I am satisfied that you do not pose a threat to the community and in particular to young girls.

“I take into account that you had an exemplary work record, that you are well respected for your work in the community and that you have been a support for your family and in particular your sons. These factors mean that I can exercise a degree of leniency.

“Were I to sentence you on the individual charges I would have selected sentences of six years on charges 4 and 6 and five years on charge 5. I would have admonished you on charge 1 and sentenced you to nine months on charge 2.

“However, I am satisfied that it would not be appropriate to pass individual sentences in a case of this nature. I will impose a cumulative sentence of seven years’ imprisonment backdated to 6 April 2018.”