HMA v WILLIAM BUCHAN

At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Matthews sentenced William Buchan to two years in prison after he was found guilty of rape and lewd, indecent and libidinous practices at various addresses in Aberdeen between 2003 and 2006.

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:

“William Buchan I have listened very carefully to all that has been said on your behalf by Mr McLeod. I have also read the various reports which have been prepared and I remember the evidence which was led in the case.

I agree entirely with your Counsel that this is a very difficult and anxious case. The offences of which you were convicted were committed a number of years ago and there is no indication that you have offended again since then or, so far as can be assessed, that you will be likely to do so again in the future.

You are plainly a vulnerable young man. At the time you committed these offences you were even more so.

It has been urged upon me that I should impose a non custodial disposal for the reasons Mr McLeod set out. I am aware that the other young man who was involved in these matters was given a probation order. He of course was younger than you and pleaded guilty to a lesser albeit still very serious offence. When he was sentenced, though, he was already in secure accommodation and likely to remain there even if a custodial sentence had been imposed.

I have given anxious consideration to the question whether to impose a period of probation on you to assist in addressing to some extent the difficulties which you face. However, despite these difficulties there is no suggestion that you were unable to distinguish right from wrong and what you did was very wrong indeed.

It seems to me that the nature of the crimes demands a custodial sentence but that I should reflect your age and difficulties at the time and those which you have now, in particular your vulnerability, by restricting the length of that. Had you been an adult with no particular problems in your make-up you would have faced many years in custody.

As it is I have decided that you should face detention for a period of 2 years from today, in cumulo. That means that the sentence covers both charges. The institution will be made aware of your issues.  I hope that you will take advantage of whatever opportunities you will have in custody to address them and that you will continue to do so when you are released. You will be subject to the notification provisions of the Sexual Offences Act, in other words you will be on the so-called sex offenders register for a period of ten years”.