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HMA v James Gordon


May 17, 2023

At the High Court in Glasgow, Lord Matthews sentenced James Gordon to 12 years imprisonment after the offender was convicted of 15 charges against three girls, including rape, attempted rape and sexual assault.

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following remarks in court:

You were convicted after trial of 15 charges.

In relation to complainer A, you touched and penetrated her vagina with your fingers on one occasion when she was 12 or 13 and you were aged between 13 and 15. She was sleeping on her bed and awoke to find you doing this to her. That was charge 1.

Charge 2 entailed your assaulting her on numerous occasions when she was aged 10 to 17 and you were aged between 12 and 19. In particular you punched her breasts and karate chopped her neck, causing her to collapse, on one occasion.

Charges 3 to 8 involved complainer B. You raped her. She was on her period but that did not stop you. That was charge 3.

On one occasion, when she was pregnant, you pushed her downstairs and repeatedly kicked her in the stomach, telling her that the baby was not yours anyway. She lost the baby as a result. That was charge 4.

Charge 5 was the result of an occasion, about two weeks after the events of charge 4, when you karate chopped her to the back of her head, saying “Die ya bastard, die”.

For a period of nearly eleven years you assaulted her on various occasions. The first time involved your slapping her. Thereafter you would hit her on the face, the back and the legs as often as once a week, causing bruising, and at one point you had your hands around her throat. That was charge 6.

On one occasion, during a period of separation, you took her to her mother’s house on a pretext and raped her. Yet again she was on her period.

She went back to you but your violence continued.

After you finally separated you turned up at her house and made disgusting comments to her, giving rise to charge 8.

As far as complainer C was concerned, charges 9 and 10 involved your telephoning her on various occasions when she was aged between 11 and 16 and asking her what underwear she was wearing. You were a grown man by then.

Charge 11 involved your touching her private parts and making her touch you on numerous occasions when she was aged between 11 and 15. 

You attempted to rape her when she was 12 and did the same again on another occasion a month or two later. These incidents formed charges 12 and 13.

Then, having tried to rape her yet again, you inserted a vibrator into her vagina and raped her forcibly. This was charge 14. Apart from the pain this caused her, the effect on her was obvious from the way she gave her evidence.

Not content with that, the evidence on charge 15 showed how you raped her on numerous occasions thereafter, stopping when she was aged 15.

Charge 16 was one of indecent assault on complainer D, when she was aged 16. You rubbed the top of her thigh when she was in your car and made suggestive remarks to her.

I have taken account of all that has been said on your behalf and the contents of the Criminal Justice Social Work report. I have also had regard to the contents of the impact statements from the first, third and fourth complainers. It is plain that you committed a catalogue of unspeakable crimes with lifelong consequences.

You are now 74 years of age but despite that the offences you committed can only be met by a substantial custodial sentence.

On the common law charges, that is to say charges 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 you will be sentenced in cumulo to imprisonment for 12 years. It will run from 31 March 2023 when I remanded you in custody.

On each of charges 1 and 10, which are statutory charges, you will be sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months to run concurrently with each other and with the sentence on the other charges.

You will be subject to the notification provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period."


16 May 2023