HMA v Alasdair Uisden McCulloch

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 14 June 2018, Lord Arthurson sentenced Alasdair McCulloch to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards children.

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

“Alasdair McCulloch, on 15 May 2018 at Aberdeen High Court, you tendered pleas of guilty to five charges of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour.  

“These offences spanned a period of just over eight years and involved the targeting of young male children in respect of each of the charges. Your sexual offending against young boys continued until you were about 21 years of age.

“You have one prior conviction, from 2005, which although at sheriff court summary level, is a relevant and analogous offence, being one which was, from the information made available to this court, undoubtedly sexual in nature, and which was committed by you when you were also aged 21.

“In these circumstances, you will well appreciate that on any view the gravity of your offending, given the nature thereof, the period libelled and the number and age of your victims, merits the imposition upon you today of a substantial custodial sentence. I further take into account what is said about your background, your attitude to this offending and the risk now presented by you, all as set out in the reports which have been made available for this sentencing hearing. I note in particular that, notwithstanding the recommendation in the principal report concerning an extended sentence, the date libelled for the very serious offending set out in charge one means that such a disposal is not open to the court today.

“Against that background, I wish to make clear to you that in selecting the custodial tariff to be imposed I am very much taking into account your own relatively young age particularly during the early period of your offending, together with the constructive life which you have led in the community since your early twenties in terms of your consistent employment record and your stable relationship with your partner, who is currently, I am advised, expecting your first child in September.  

“I also take into account everything which your counsel has said on your behalf in mitigation this morning. In particular I note the victim empathy and remorse which you have now demonstrated and the fact that you appear to have the ongoing support of your partner, family and friends. I am told that you wish to move on with your life and accordingly I would encourage you to participate fully in all offence-focussed work which is available to you while you are in prison.

“In the whole circumstances, I now sentence you as follows: on charges one to five inclusive on the indictment, on an in cumulo basis, you will serve a period of four years and six months’ imprisonment, backdated to the date of your initial remand in custody in this case, namely to 16 May 2018. But for the timing of your pleas of guilty, which were tendered on the morning of your trial, with all complainers in attendance at court, that sentence would have been one of five years’ imprisonment.

“Finally, as a result of this sentence, you will now be made subject to the notification requirements of part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”