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HMA v Kevin Scott


Jul 13, 2023

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lady Haldane imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction on Kevin Scott after the offender was convicted of 10 charges including violent assault, rape, abduction, domestic abuse and sexual activity with a child. The punishment part was set at 6 years and 6 months.

On sentencing Lady Haldane made the following remarks in court:

" On 16th December 2022 you were convicted of 10 serious charges committed over a 35 year period ranging from violent assault of your partners, rape of three girls, indecent communication and sexual activity with an older child you met online, abduction, and domestic abuse.  That simple recitation of the crimes of which you were convicted does not truly convey the distressing nature of the evidence given by each of the complainers, who each demonstrated enormous courage in speaking out about what you did to them, or the truly abhorrent nature of the offences you have perpetrated.  In particular, the crimes committed against the complainers who were, or still are children, and in relation to whom you were in a position of trust, are perhaps particularly disturbing.  I have also had the benefit of, and taken fully into account the Victim Impact Statements provided by two of the complainers, which make clear the profound effect your offending has had upon them.

When you were convicted, the crown made a motion under section 201B for a risk assessment order.  Your Counsel, understandably and properly, resisted that motion and invited me to seek a Criminal Justice Social Work Report in the first instance.  I instructed that report.  It confirmed that you denied all of the offences other than assault of one of your ex partners and the sexual abuse of your step daughter, who I shall refer to as HK.  You of course did not consider what happened between you to be abuse, as you regarded yourself as in a relationship with HK, although she was only a child at the time, and vulnerable in a number of respects.  Indeed you blamed her for seducing you. 

You are unable to recognise your grooming and abusive behaviour for what it really was, and this pattern emerges in your attitude to your other offending.  Using recognised testing, the author of the report assessed you as at high risk of further sexual offending.  Unsurprisingly the author also concluded that your actions will have caused serious physical and psychological harm to the complainers, and that you present a danger to women and children.  In light of those serious conclusions I instructed a full risk assessment report to be prepared.  This is a comprehensive and thorough report which I found to be instructive. 

Your profile is one of psychopathy driven by a traumatic childhood and anxiety.  You demonstrate no insight into your behaviours or their effect on others.  The Reporter confirms that you are a high risk towards intimate partners and to children.  That risk is enduring and there are few protective factors to counterbalance that risk.  The Reporter is clear in her view that in the absence of concerted long term measures to manage the risk that you pose, you are likely to continue to seriously endanger the lives, or the physical or psychological well-being of the public at large.

Your counsel has made a careful submission on your behalf, and whilst properly not seeking to contradict the findings in the report, he has equally properly drawn my attention to factors in that report which point to some prospect of progress in the future so far as you are concerned, assuming of course that you remain willing to engage with the treatment that will be offered to you during your time in prison. 

I have taken account also, for the avoidance of doubt, that you have never before served a sentence of imprisonment and the one previous conviction that you do have is elderly and unrelated to these offences and I have placed no weight upon it.

However in light of all of the material put before me I am satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the risk criteria set out in section 210E of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 have been met.

I therefore make an order for your lifelong restriction in respect of all charges of which you were convicted. That order constitutes a sentence of imprisonment for an indefinite period.

I must also fix the punishment part of your sentence, being the period which you must spend in full in prison before you can apply to the Parole Board for Scotland to be released on licence. Had I not been imposing this order, I would have imposed a sentence in respect of charges 5, and 6, on a cumulo basis, of 4 years imprisonment.  This sentence would have run concurrently with a sentence of 12 months in respect of charge 10, 9 months in respect of charge 14 and 9 months in respect of charge 17.  These sentences would all have run concurrently with the sentence I would have imposed in respect of charges 1, 7, 11, 13 and 15. 

Had I been imposing individual sentences in respect of these charges I would have imposed a cumulo sentence in respect of charges 1 and 7 of 9 years, in respect of charge 11 of five years, in respect of charge 13 of 7 years and in respect of charge 15 of 8 years.  However this would have resulted in a sentence that was cumulatively excessive.  Accordingly having regard to the persistent pattern of serious sexual offending these offences disclose, I would have imposed instead a cumulative sentence of 15 years imprisonment of which 6 months would have been attributable to the bail aggravation in respect of charge 17, with such extension as may have been necessary for public protection post-release.

Parliament says I must ignore any period of imprisonment which may be necessary for the protection of the public and to determine the part of that period of imprisonment which would represent an appropriate period to satisfy the requirements of punishment and deterrence.

That period is 13 years.

I will follow the normal approach suggested in the legislation and reduce that period by one-half.

Accordingly the punishment part of your Order for Lifelong Restriction will be 6 years 6 months

which will be backdated to 5th March 2021, the date you were remanded in custody.

Be clear, the sentence imposed is not a sentence of imprisonment of 6 years 6 months. It is an order for your lifelong restriction which is a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period. The punishment part represents only the number of years which must pass before you are first eligible to make an application for parole. It does not follow however that you will then be released. You will be released from prison only at such a time as the Parole Board for Scotland considers it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be held in prison.

In addition, as a result of the sentence imposed you now also become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.  You will remain subject to those notification requirements indefinitely.

Finally, in light of your conviction on charge 17, which is a charge under the Domestic Abuse Scotland Act 2018 Section 1, I am obliged in terms of section 234AZA of the Criminal Procedure Scotland Act 1995 to impose a non-harassment order in respect of that complainer unless I am satisfied that there is no need for such an order.  I am not so satisfied and accordingly I make such an order, specifically that you shall not by any means, either directly or indirectly including by electronic means, or via social media contact or attempt to contact the complainer in charge 17.  This order will subsist for an indefinite period.

I am satisfied that it is appropriate to make an order in identical terms so far as the complainers in charges 13, 14 and 15 are concerned and so in terms of section 234A of the 1995 Act I make such an order.  For the avoidance of doubt, these orders too will subsist for an indefinite period.


 12 July 2023