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HMA v Paul McFadyen


Mar 13, 2024

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lady Poole imposed an extended sentence of 9 years on Paul McFadyen. The offender will spend 6 years in prison, with a 3 year extension on licence in the community after being convicted of historic sex offences. He has been added to the sex offenders register and added to the list of people unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.

On sentencing, Lady Poole said:

“Paul McFadyen, you were convicted by the jury on 14 December 2023 at the High Court in Edinburgh of historic offences of abusing two women.

You met both of the women.  They were significantly younger and smaller than you.  You behaved appallingly to both of them.  You made sexual and offensive comments, and indecently assaulted them.  The offending against one of your victims escalated, and the jury found you guilty of three sexual offences against her including rape.   

I have read carefully two victim impact statements which have been provided to the court.  It is clear that your behaviour was not just upsetting, but had many longer-term and serious impacts on your victims. 

Your record of previous convictions before the court is relatively short.  You did not appear before any court until you had reached the age of 56.  However you have convictions for sexual offending since then.  You were fined and put on the sex offenders register in 2017 after threatening and abusive behaviour towards two victims, one aged 18 and one aged 14.  You have subsequently been convicted of an offence in connection with indecent photographs of children committed in 2019.     

I have considered the criminal justice social work report I ordered.  Initially it had to be compiled by the author without your input because you declined to engage.  You have now participated in the preparation of the most recent version of the criminal justice social work report, in which the author also had access to departmental records documenting your mental health issues, and to medical information provided by staff at the HMP Edinburgh Health Centre.  The report carried out risk assessments, and finds you to be a high risk of sexual re-offending with any future offending having the potential to result in serious harm. 

I have taken into account all of the points made on your behalf in mitigation.  I have also taken into account a medical report prepared at an earlier stage of this case.  You are now 61 years old.  You have a good history of qualifications and employment, and for most of your life you have not been in trouble with the police.  I note your history in recent years of poor health, physical but also mental ill health, and issues with alcohol.  

I have taken into account that you have not previously been sentenced to imprisonment or detention, but given the nature and seriousness of the crimes of which you have been convicted no other method of dealing with you is appropriate.

I sentence you on a cumulo basis for all five charges, because the jury found a course of conduct to be established. 

I have decided to impose an extended sentence of 9 years on you because I consider 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.  The custodial part of the sentence will be 6 years, with a 3 year extension period.  During the extension period you will be subject to a licence, the conditions of which will be set by the Scottish Ministers. Breach of any of these conditions will make you liable to be recalled to serve out the whole of the sentence in custody, and you may also be sentenced for any offence committed while on licence. 

Your sentence will be backdated to 23 November 2023.  You have been in custody since 7 December 2023, but I have backdated for a further 2 weeks to take account of earlier time you were remanded in connection with this case, around about the time of the preliminary hearings, prior to being granted bail. 

As a result of that sentence you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period. Your name has been added to the lists of persons deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.

You must refrain from approaching or contacting, or attempting to approach or contact your victims, by any means including electronic means, either directly or through others, for a period of 20 years.”