HMA v William Lannigan McArthur

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 6 December 2018, William MacArthur was found guilty of charges of rape, sexual assault and attempted murder. Sentence was adjourned until 16 January 2019. On conviction, Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

“William Lannigan McArthur, you have been convicted by the jury of nine crimes – three physical assaults, attempted murder and penetrative sexual assault of a four-year-old girl, three rapes, two of an adult female and one of a 14-year-old girl, and penetrative sexual assault of an adult female. You also pleaded guilty at the outset of the trial to two offences of stalking.

“The crimes which you committed on the four-year-old girl were ones of unspeakable, indeed incomprehensible, evil.

“Your criminal responsibility is made worse by your previous conviction for three domestic assaults, two to injury and one to severe injury, for which you were sentenced on 23 April 2015 to 27 months’ imprisonment with a supervised release order for nine months.

“It is clear that you are a serious danger to women and children.

“I have to consider whether to call for a risk assessment order in respect of you with a view to a possible order for lifelong restriction, but before I decide whether to follow that course I wish to find out a lot more about you.

“In the first instance, therefore, I shall adjourn this case for sentence until 16 January 2019 at the High Court in Aberdeen for the purpose of obtaining a criminal justice social work report and a full psychological assessment in respect of you. I shall also adjourn the Crown motion for a risk assessment order until then.

“Whatever form your sentence may ultimately take you can expect to spend many years in prison.

“As a result of your convictions on the sexual offences you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. You will be provided with a notice explaining these requirements.

“There is one comment which I wish to add at this stage. The object lesson to be taken from this case is that a woman should not allow a man of whose background she knows little or nothing to become her partner and a member of her household, especially when there are children in the household. If she does so she could be risking the safety and wellbeing of herself and her children.”