HMA v DAVID GRAVES

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Boyd of Duncansby imposed an extended sentence of 8 years 3 months with a custodial part of 5 years 3 months detention on David Graves after he pled guilty to a number of sex offences against children.

On sentencing Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:

11 April 2014

“For a period of just over one year you pursued a course of conduct against 3 young girls aged 12, 13 and 14. You groomed them via social networking sites and you committed the serious offences to which you pled guilty. These offences included sexual assault, intercourse with a 14 year old girl and the rape of a 12 year old. In addition you downloaded a number of indecent images of children. You continued on this course of conduct despite the fact that the mother of one of the victims contacted you and told you that if you ever contacted her daughter again she would report you to the police. You knew it was wrong and you knew the ages of the children involved.

I have listened carefully to what Mr Renucci has said on your behalf. I accept that there was no force involved in the commission of these offences. Nevertheless the charges include rape of a 12 year old girl. I accept that there may be a difference in physical effect given that it is oral rather than vaginal rape but the psychological trauma may well be the same. 

I take into account your age. You are a young man with no previous convictions. When the offending started you were only 18 years old. You appear to be a rather immature young man who has had difficulty in making relationships and I accept that you may have thought that you had friendships with the girls involved. I accept too that you have had a difficult upbringing with a somewhat dysfunctional family. It is to your credit that you have accepted your responsibility for these offences and expressed a determination to address the underlying problems.

I have read the criminal justice social work report. It is clear that you show little insight into the damage that such conduct can cause. You also told the author of the report that you had spoken to other men on the internet and exchanged information with a man in Norway regarding the sexual abuse of children. From what Mr Renucci told the court the images that you had access to appear to have come from him. Against that background I am not surprised but I am concerned at the conclusion that there is a high risk of you re-offending.

In terms of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 I have already informed you that you have been convicted of an offence to which part 2 of that Act applies. Accordingly you will be subject to the notification requirements contained in the Act. The clerk has certified these facts and you will be given a copy of that certificate together with a notice which gives further details of the notification requirements with which you must comply.

The recommendation in the social work report is that if you are sentenced to a custodial term there should be an extended period of 3 years to manage your rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. I am satisfied that there is no other method of dealing with you other than by a custodial sentence in a Young Offenders’ Institution. I am also satisfied that the custodial sentence that I can impose is not sufficient to protect the public from serious harm. Accordingly I will accept that recommendation.

I will sentence you on charges 1, 6 and 9 separately.

On charge 1 the sentence is one of 6 months in a YOI.

On charge 6 the sentence is one of 6 months in a YOI.

On charge 9 the sentence is one of 3 months in a YOI.

Each of these sentences will be concurrent to the cumulative sentence that I intend to impose on you in respect of the other charges.

On charges 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8, I will sentence you to an extended sentence of 8 years 3 months of which 5 years 3 months will represent the custodial part and 3 years will be an extended sentence. During that time you will be released on licence and under supervision. You will be required to observe the terms of your licence. If you fail to do so then you may be returned to prison.

Had it not been for your plea the custodial part of your sentence would have been 7 years.

Had I sentenced you on each individual charge the custodial part of the sentence, before taking account of the plea and any extension, would have been

On charge 2 - 6 months

On charge 4 -3 years

On charge 5 - 6 months

On charge 7 - 4 years

On charge 8 - 5 years

The sentences will be backdated to 17th March 2014.”