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HMA v Colin Bouglas


Apr 19, 2023

At the High Court in Livingston today, Judge Susan Craig imposed an extended sentence of 19 years imprisonment on Colin Bouglas after the offender was convicted of sex crimes against children between 1984 and 2019. The extended sentence comprises a custodial term of 14 years with an extension period of 5 years.

On sentencing Judge Susan Craig said:

“On 9 December 2022 at the High Court in Glasgow you were convicted by a jury of charges of rape, sexual assault and lewd and libidinous practices involving two girls, now adults, who were each still at nursery and under school age when you raped and assaulted them. You were also convicted of sexually assaulting a child, who is still a child, from the age of 2 until she was 6 and of raping her multiple times when she was just 6. The rapes and sexual assaults of that child only came to light in 2020 when one of your now adult victims reported your rape of her to the police and they began investigating you.

You were in a position of trust in respect of that child. You assaulted her repeatedly performing degrading and depraved acts on her. You also raped her multiple times.

Your other victims, now both adults, each asked the court to allow them to give their evidence without any special measures to screen you from them because they wanted, they said, to look you in the eye when they told the court what you had done to them. Although they are now adults you raped them before they were even at primary school and it is clear from the evidence and their victim statements that that has had a profound effect on them as they grew up.

You are now 56 years of age. You have no previous convictions. However as you started offending in 1984 and carried on, with some breaks, until 2019, it cannot be said that you have led a blameless life until now. In fact, quite the reverse. You were offending in the most serious way imaginable but had not been found out. Your victims were extremely young and you told at least one of them that they were not to tell anyone what had happened.

You have grossly abused the position of trust that you were in in relation to all of these victims and it has only come to light recently because of the courage and bravery of your victims to tell the police, and then the jury, what you did to them. That is not without cost to them but they are to be commended for having that courage and bravery.

I have had the benefit of both a CJSW report and a risk assessment report to help me identify the appropriate sentence. The CJSW report mentioned a number of the features that I saw at the trial – you portrayed yourself as the victim and showed no remorse, empathy or understanding about the seriousness of your offences. It highlighted that you have deviant sexual preferences showing sexual attraction to, and sexually abusing, young or very young female pre-pubescent children. The risk assessor describes you as being emotionally shallow and lacking the capacity for meaningful ongoing emotional attachment and commitment. He assesses you as has having a powerful and deep-rooted deviant arousal, and that you are at medium risk of further sexual offending.

I have listened to the submissions in mitigation advanced on your behalf by your senior counsel, and in particular I note what has been said concerning your right to continue to deny these offences. He urges me to impose a determinate sentence on you, albeit that he acknowledges that will be a substantial sentence.

You have been on remand since your conviction. I am satisfied that I now have sufficient information to enable me to sentence you today

It is plain from the gravity of the offending before that only a very substantial custodial sentence is appropriate. On the basis of the available risk assessment material, and having regard to the nature of your crimes in this case, it is further clear that the normal period of licence would not be adequate to protect the public from serious harm from you when you are in due course released. I propose therefore to impose an extended sentence. 

This sentence will be in two parts. The first part will be custodial. The second part will take the form of an extension period when you will be under supervision while on licence in the community. The conditions of your licence will be set by Scottish Ministers. If you fail to comply with these licence conditions during the extension period your licence will be revoked and you may be returned to custody for a further period in respect of this indictment. The Court also has power to deal with you if you commit a further offence after your release from the custodial part of this sentence and while you are on licence and under supervision.

On all charges, and on a cumulo basis, you will serve an extended sentence of 19 years duration. The custodial part will comprise a period of 14 years and the extension period will be 5 years, backdated to 9 December 2022 when you were first remanded in custody.

Finally, you will be subject to the notification requirements contained in Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”

19 April 2023