HMA v Garry John Strang

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 9 January 2019, Lord Arthurson sentenced Garry Strang to seven years’ imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of rape and sexual assault. On sentencing, Lord Arthurson made the following statement in court:

“Garry John Strang, on 30 November 2018 at Glasgow High Court you were convicted by a jury of an extremely serious charge involving the rape and sexual assault by penetration by you on 19 March 2016 of a vulnerable young woman who was a stranger to you until you picked her up in your car while she was under the influence of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.

“You gave her more drugs and took her to your home in the Falkirk area where you proceeded to violate her in the various ways libelled in the charge in respect of which you have been convicted, in person and with an implement, while she was plainly intoxicated. 

“The jury in reaching its verdict clearly rejected your defence of consent. 

“This offence, and its concerning predatory sexual nature, represents a highly disturbing departure and escalation in your already extensive criminal history, and you will be under no illusions of course in these circumstances that only a very substantial custodial disposal is appropriate in your case.

“You have accrued 34 groups of previous convictions in your record to date, running from 2001 to 2018, and the vast majority of these have been dealt with at summary level. 

“Indeed, only one has been on indictment, dating from 2004 for serious drugs offences in respect of which you received at Edinburgh High Court a sentence of six years’ imprisonment.  Although that conviction was non-analogous in its nature it remains nevertheless a significant conviction which I must have regard to when fixing the custodial tariff of your sentence today.

“The background report prepared for today’s sentencing hearing places you in the medium risk category for sexual reoffending and sets out at some length your own position on the index offence.

“I have further listened with care to the helpful submissions made in mitigation on your behalf by your counsel this morning and take all of these into account in reaching a view on the sentence to be imposed upon you.

“In the whole circumstances I now sentence you on this indictment as follows.  You will serve a sentence of imprisonment of seven years’ duration, backdated to 30 November 2018, being the date of your conviction and initial remand in custody in this case.

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