HMA v Andrew Heeps

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 8 March 2019, Lord Arthurson sentenced Andrew Heeps to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to the attempted rape of a girl and to using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards another girl.

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

“Andrew Heeps, on 8 February 2019 at Glasgow High Court you tendered pleas of guilty to a two-charge indictment libelling, first, the attempted rape of a girl who was then aged 11 or 12, and, second, using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards another girl who was then aged 14 and 15 on various occasions, more than a decade after the attempted rape libelled in charge one.

“You were in a position of trust in respect of both of your victims, who will undoubtedly have suffered a significant long-standing psychological impact due to your appalling conduct towards them.

“You come before the court as a first offender with a history of health problems and an apparent history of alcohol misuse. You are assessed in the background report which has been prepared for today’s sentencing hearing as presenting a moderate risk of further sexual reoffending, with currently no protective factors at all identified in your personal circumstances. You have suffered recent significant bereavements and appear to be particularly socially isolated.

“You have, however, taken responsibility for your offending and acknowledged the negative impact of that offending upon your victims. Your counsel has advanced substantial mitigation regarding your personal circumstances on your behalf this morning and I take all that has been said into account in determining the appropriate disposal in your case.

“In view of the nature of the offending to which you have pled guilty, of course, you will appreciate that only a substantial custodial sentence would be appropriate on this indictment.

“Your offending was predatory in its nature, and in respect of charge two was sustained and must have involved a degree of targeting and planning on your part.

“You committed these offences first in your late 20s and then in your early 40s, and in respect of each of your victims a significant breach of trust was involved in your criminal conduct towards them.

“Today the court requires to hold you to account for these crimes and accordingly I now sentence you as follows.

“In respect of charges one and two on this indictment, on an in cumulo basis, you will serve a period of four years and six months’ imprisonment, discounted due to the timing of your pleas in this case from a period of six years’ imprisonment, backdated to 17 December 2018, being the date of your initial remand in custody in respect of this case.

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