HMA v Scott Dennis Ferguson

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 11 December 2018, Lord Arthurson sentenced Scott Ferguson to five years’ imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of rape and sexual assault. On sentencing, Lord Arthurson made the following statement in court:

“Scott Dennis Ferguson, on 5 November 2018 at Edinburgh High Court you were convicted by a jury of the crimes of rape and sexual assault within a single charge indictment, in terms of which in summary you forced yourself sexually upon a woman who was known to you, within your flat in Edinburgh on 17 December 2016. 

“This represents extremely serious sexual offending and the only appropriate disposal in your case is on any view a substantial custodial one.

“You have accrued four groups of previous convictions, all of which have been dealt with a sheriff court summary level, and you have served no previous custodial sentence. Only one of those convictions could be deemed to be relevant, namely that in 2008 for a breach of the peace with a sexual element, but I note that that was dealt with by way of a fine. 

“I have read with care the criminal justice social work report prepared for today’s sentencing hearing and have listened with equal care to your counsel’s submissions in mitigation on your behalf this morning.

“I note that you have been assessed as presenting a medium risk of further sexual reoffending and that you displayed no victim empathy to the author of the report. I further note that alcohol has played a significant role in all your offending to date. I take into account your otherwise favourable personal circumstances, including your stable employment history, in imposing sentence today.

“In the whole circumstances therefore, I now sentence you on this indictment as follows. You will serve a sentence of imprisonment of five years’ duration, backdated to 5 November 2018, being the date of your conviction and initial remand in custody in this matter. In addition, you will further, as a result of this sentence, be subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”