HMA v David Briggs

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 31 May 2018, Lord Woolman sentenced David Briggs to five-and-a-half years’ imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of rape and lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour.

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

“David Briggs, last month a jury at Edinburgh High Court convicted you of the rape of a 15-year-old girl and the sexual abuse of a boy over a period when he was aged about eight to 13.

“These are serious sexual offences. You violated their persons. You ruptured their childhood trust.

“That has had profound, lasting and adverse consequences for both of them. One of them speaks in her victim impact statement of her feelings of ‘frustration, fear and helplessness’ extending over many years.

“I take into account everything said by senior counsel on your behalf.

“You are a first offender, who has lived a constructive life in the 12 years since the last offence took place in 2006.

“You have a supportive wife and family. You are well regarded in your community. Those who gave evidence on your behalf are shocked that you should find yourself in this position.

“Since the allegations were made two years ago, your life and that of your family has been significantly disrupted. Your career has been ruined.

“Anyone who commits such abhorrent crimes, however, must expect to receive a significant custodial penalty. Only a term of imprisonment is appropriate to reflect the requirements of punishment and deterrence.

“The sentence also aims to facilitate rehabilitation, so that you can make a meaningful contribution on your return to society.

“In determining the length of the sentence, I can take into account the fact that you were relatively young when you committed the offences. The criminal justice social work report, which I have carefully studied, states that you present a low to medium risk of re-offending.

“Having regard to all the circumstances, and exercising what leniency I can, I shall impose a cumulative sentence of five years six months imprisonment for both offences, backdated to 3 May 2018, when you were first remanded in custody in respect of this indictment.

“You are subject to the notification requirements under part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”