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When deciding a sentence, a judge must deal with the offence that the offender has been convicted of, taking into account the unique circumstances of each particular case. The judge will carefully consider the facts that are presented to the Court by both the prosecution and by the defence.
Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.
HMA v Edward Lochrie
Oct 27, 2023
On sentencing, Lord Young said:
"Edward Lochrie, you have been convicted of a single charge of rape.
There are a number of aggravating factors in this case. In the first place, this rape took place in the victim’s own home where she had an expectation of being safe.
Secondly, the evidence indicates to me that you were intoxicated when you attacked your victim. Indeed, you told the police at interview that you were “very drunk” when in the flat that evening. You told the authors of the criminal justice social work report (CJSWR) that you would not have had sex that night if you had not been under the influence of alcohol and drugs, so your self-induced intoxication was, in part, a cause of this rape.
Thirdly, I consider that the advocate depute was correct to describe you waiting and waiting and waiting to get your victim alone before you had the opportunity to assault her. You ignored all hints and suggestions, and ultimately directions, from your victim that you should leave her flat. You insisted to your victim’s friend that you were waiting for hours for a taxi whereas your own mobile phone records strongly suggest that you cannot have ordered a taxi until after 4.00am at the earliest. While I accept that this rape was not pre-planned, it did involve predatory behaviour emerging once you realised that your victim lived alone and that you could manipulate the situation to be left alone with her.
In the fourth place, there was a degree of force involved in that you pushed your victim backwards onto the bed and pinned her down with your weight as she was telling you 'no'.
I have read with great care the victim impact statement (VIS) in this case. In her statement, your victim sets out in clear unemotional terms how your actions have affected her physical and emotional health. The impression that I get from that VIS is that nothing in her life remains unaffected by what you did to her that night. She is, however, a resilient woman, with supportive friends, who has made important steps to rebuild her life since that night.
I have had regard to everything that Mr Cloggie has said today on your behalf. In terms of mitigation, I acknowledge that you have no relevant previous convictions and I approach the sentencing task as if you were a first offender. You gained qualifications at school, obtained good employment and had what appears to have been a relatively settled family life. I note that you have caring responsibilities going beyond the norm for your son, mother and brother, and the burden of these will inevitably be passed to others while you are in custody.
I also acknowledge that you have suffered from some mental health issues over the years. I am, however, satisfied that the medical services within the Prison Service will be able to provide the appropriate care for you. You are assessed as being at a low risk of further sexual or violent reoffending although that risk will increase if you do not control any tendency to abuse alcohol and drugs.
What is clear from the CJSWR is that you have shown no empathy for your victim and have no insight into your offending. In the interviews with the authors of the CJSWR, you embarked on a process of victim blaming described by the authors as a character assassination of your victim. When challenged by the authors to explain or back up some of your assertions, you were unable to do so.
In short, you present a warped picture of what happened that night whether that is to justify your behaviour to yourself, or to others. That entrenched belief system is likely to hinder your rehabilitation. It is no doubt difficult for your ego to accept, but you alone are responsible for your actions which have led you to the dock of the High Court.
Having regard to the gravity of the offence; the harm you have caused to your victim; and all the other circumstances which I have discussed, I have concluded that you shall be sentenced on this charge to a period of 7 years imprisonment which period is backdated to 29th September 2023.
As a result of your conviction and the sentence imposed, you are subject to the notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period."
27 October 2023