HMA v Richard Hutchinson

At the High Court in Edinburgh today (7 November 2019), Lord Pentland sentenced Richard Hutchinson to 4 years imprisonment after the offender pled guilty to repeated sexual abuse of three teenage boys over a period between about 1996 and 2002.

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

“Richard Hutchinson, you pled guilty to four charges involving serious and repeated sexual abuse of three teenage boys over a period between about 1996 and 2002. You were in your late forties and early to mid-fifties at the time you committed the offences. In each case, you first gained the trust of your victims by giving them money and other inducements. The victims were friends of your son and you offered them employment. Having won your victims’ confidence, you then abused their trust by taking advantage of them for the purposes of your own sexual gratification. It is clear that you groomed and manipulated your victims and that you did this with the aim of sexually abusing them. The abuse extended to frequent mutual masturbation, digital anal penetration, one incident in which you licked and sucked your victim’s penis, and one occasion on which you penetrated your victim’s mouth with your penis and ejaculated in his mouth. 

You are a 71-year-old man of previous good character. I accept that you are now remorseful, that you have shown an understanding of the emotional impact of your conduct on your victims, and that you present a low risk of reoffending.

I have carefully considered the criminal justice social work report and the detailed victim impact information.

In view of the gravity of these offences, only a custodial sentence is appropriate. Had I been sentencing you after trial, I would have imposed a sentence of 6 years imprisonment. I will discount your sentence to one of 4 years imprisonment to reflect your guilty plea. This is a sentence imposed cumulatively in respect of the four charges on the indictment. Your sentence will be backdated to 9 October 2019.

You will remain subject to the notification requirements applicable to sex offenders for the remainder of your life. Your name has been added to the lists kept of persons deemed unsuitable to work with children and other vulnerable groups.”