HMA v William Alexander Aitkin

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lady Wolffe sentenced William Aitkin to a total of 16 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of rape and lewd and libidinous behaviour.

On sentencing Lady Wolffe made the following statement in court:

“You have been found guilty by the jury of 2 charges involving repeated sexual misconduct over a period of two years towards two girls in their early teens, contrary to section 6 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995.  You were also found guilty of the repeated rape over a two year period of the first complainer and of the rape of the second complainer.

Both complainers were then only in their very early teens. Both were extremely vulnerable, as you well knew. More serious still is that you were in a position of trust in respect of these two young teenaged girls. The crimes you committed constitute a gross abuse of that trust.

I have had regard to the Criminal Justice Social Work Report now available to me. It is concerning to note that you refuse entirely to accept responsibility for the conduct of which you have been convicted. You express no remorse. It is also noted that by reason of that attitude, you continue to pose a risk of reoffending.

In mitigation on your behalf, it is accepted that you continue to deny responsibility but that you are bound by the verdict.   It is suggested that it is a mitigatory factor that you have been under risk of prosecution since September 2010, when you were cautioned and charged by the police in relation to these matters. During that period of 4 years and 8 months you have been under stress due to the impact of these matters hanging over you. In respect of the Social Work Report, a number of letters of support have been handed up to counter the observation there that you have little social or family support. Given your continual denial of guilt, little could be said on your behalf in relation to the matters of which you now stand convicted.

I have had regard to what has been said in mitigation on your behalf, to the length of time you have been under risk of proceedings and to the fact that you have no previous convictions. However, the crimes of which you have been found guilty after trial are extremely serious ones. They all involved calculated and predatory sexual abuse for your own sexual gratification of two vulnerable girls in their early teens and in respect of whom you were a position of trust. Sexual crimes involving children are particularly odious. Such abuse is not acceptable in a modern society, and it is the responsibility of the Court to reflect that understanding. 

I am satisfied that in your case, there is no appropriate alternative disposal to one of imprisonment.

 Indeed, your defence solicitor advocate accepted that a custodial sentence was inevitable.

In the light of the foregoing, the sentences I impose are as follows:

In respect of charge 1, involving lewd and libidinous conduct contrary to section 6 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation)(Scotland) Act 1995, the sentence I impose is one of 5 years imprisonment.

In respect of charge 2, involving the repeated rape of the first complainer, I impose a sentence of 10 years.

In respect of charge 3, also involving lewd and libidinous conduct contrary to section 6 of the 1995 Act, but toward the second complainer,  the sentence I impose is one of 5 years imprisonment.

Finally, I n respect of charge 4, involving the rape of the second complainer, I impose a sentence of 6 years.

The sentences I impose on charges 1 and 2 shall run concurrently. The sentences I impose on charges 3 and 4 shall run concurrently. However, the sentences I impose on charges 3 and 4 are to run consecutively to those I have imposed in charges 1 and 2, with the effect that you are subject to imprisonment for 16 years. The sentences I have imposed will be backdated to the date on which you were taken into custody in relation to this matter, on 23 March 2015.

You are now liable to comply with the notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period. And, finally, I direct the clerk of court to intimate details of your conviction to the Scottish Ministers in terms of section 7(1) of the Protection of the Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007”.