HMA v David MacBride

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 13 December 2018, Lord Uist sentenced David MacBride to an order for lifelong restriction with a punishment part of seven years after the accused was found guilty of eight charges of rape and two of sexual assault. That sentence will be consecutive to a sentence of three years’ imprisonment for breaching bail by fleeing to Spain.

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

“David MacBride, you were convicted by the jury of the amended charges 5, 6 and 10 to 18 inclusive on the indictment, being eight charges of rape and two of sexual assault.

“There were three victims of your rapes, two adult women and a girl aged between 10 and 12. That girl and another girl, aged nine at the material time, as well as another adult woman, were the victims of your sexual assaults.

“In addition, you pleaded guilty at a preliminary hearing on 18 May 2018 to charge 20, a charge of breaching bail by failing without reasonable excuse to appear at a preliminary hearing in your case at Glasgow High Court on 12 January 2016. You fled from justice by going to continental Europe and had to be brought back from Spain to stand trial.

“You are now almost 45 years old. Although you have previously offended, all your convictions are minor and at sheriff summary level and you have never previously been sentenced to imprisonment.

“I deal first and separately with charge 20, which carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. This was a very serious breach of bail by deliberately fleeing abroad and causing much public expense to find you and bring you back.

“Had you been convicted of that offence after trial I would have imposed a sentence of three years’ imprisonment. As you pleaded guilty at a preliminary hearing that sentence will be discounted to two years three months imprisonment and run from 2 February 2018.

“So far as the other charges are concerned, the criminal justice social work report which I obtained on you stated that you posed a risk of further analogous offending. I therefore made a risk assessment order in respect of you.

“The risk assessor appointed by the court has now reported that your being at liberty presents a high risk to the safety of the public at large. I am therefore satisfied that the risk criteria are met in your case.

“Accordingly, I make an order for lifelong restriction in respect of you. That order constitutes a sentence of imprisonment for an indefinite period.

“I must also fix the punishment part of that sentence, that is to say, the period which you must spend in prison in full before you can apply to the Parole Board for Scotland to be released on licence.

“Had I been imposing a fixed sentence on charges 5, 6 and 10 to 18 inclusive, taken together I would have imposed a sentence of 16 years’ imprisonment. Applying the appropriate formula I therefore fix your punishment part at seven years.

“You must not assume that you will be released at the end of that period: you will be released only when it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison.

“Your sentence on charges 5, 6 and 10 to 18 inclusive will be consecutive to your sentence on charge 20. As a result of that sentence you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”