HMA v STEPHEN JOHN DICKSON

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Doherty imposed a lifelong restriction order on Stephen Dickson, with a punishment part of 5 years, after he was found guilty of two offences of assault and abduction; one of assault and attempted abduction; and one of assault, abduction, detention and rape in Aberdeen between October 2007 and January 2012.

On sentencing Lord Doherty made the following statement in court:

“You have been found guilty of two offences of assault and abduction; one of assault and attempted abduction; and one of assault, abduction, detention and rape. In each case you preyed on vulnerable young women. Your behaviour is extremely concerning. It escalated until finally you abducted and raped your last victim.

On the material placed before me I am in no doubt that you pose a very serious danger to young women - to the safety of their lives and to their physical and psychological wellbeing. The requirements for the imposition of an order for lifelong restriction are made out. That is the sentence I impose upon you.

The law requires me to set a minimum term of imprisonment - the punishment part of your sentence. That is the minimum period you must serve before the Parole Board could even consider your case.

In order to arrive at the punishment part I have to start by considering what would have been an appropriate determinate sentence for the offences. I consider a cumulo sentence of 13 years imprisonment would have been appropriate (2 years 3 months for charge 1, 18 months for charge 2, 2 years 3 months for charge 3, and 7 years for charge 4). From that starting point of 13 years I have to deduct the element which is attributable to the protection of the public. I deduct 3 years for that, taking the figure down to 10 years. I then have to take account of the early release rules. That means that the period of 10 years falls to be reduced to five years. That is the punishment part which I set for you. As I have said, it is the bare minimum period which you must serve and which the law requires me to state. When you are actually to be released after the expiry of that period will be a matter for the Parole Board to determine.

Your sentence will be backdated to 6 January 2012 when you first appeared in court in connection with these offences.

You will be subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for the remainder of your life.”