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HMA V Steven Howie Nevitt


Mar 20, 2024

At the High Court in Glasgow today, Lord Arthurson sentenced Steven Howie Nevitt to 6 years and 9 months imprisonment. The offender had pled guilty to historic charges of child rape.

On sentencing, Lord Arthurson told Nevitt:

"Steven Howie Nevitt, on 16 February 2024 at a preliminary hearing at Glasgow High Court you tendered pleas of guilty to a charge of the assault and rape to injury on a single occasion of a young girl when she was aged 5 or 6, when you yourself were aged 14 or 15, and to a separate charge of the assault and rape on multiple occasions of a young girl when she was aged 10 and 11, when you yourself were aged 16 or 17.

This offending occurred on dates between April 1989 and January 1993, all as specified in the amended libels of the charges.  You were in a position of trust in respect of your victims.  These are deplorable and extremely grave sexual offences against young children and today you will receive from the Court a substantial custodial sentence for your crimes. The damaging psychological consequences of your offending upon your vulnerable child victims are, on any view, likely to be lifelong. I confirm that I have read and considered very powerful impact statements tendered by the Crown in respect of both of your victims.

You are now aged 49. You have no history of any employment. You have demonstrated some remorse for your crimes. You are assessed in the now available criminal justice social work report, which was obtained on the express request of your counsel, as presenting a high risk of both sexual and violent reoffending. You of course already have an extensive criminal record, comprising by my count 62 groups of previous convictions, five of these being at sheriff and jury level.  You have served to date some 30 custodial sentences.  Of particular note is a conviction in 1997 for two charges of using lewd and libidinous practices, in respect of which you received a sentence of 30 months imprisonment. Your child victims in that case, the author of the background report advises, were aged between 6 and 11 years old.

I have listened with care to your counsel’s submissions in mitigation, all as these have been helpfully advanced on your behalf this morning, and I note in particular what has been said regarding your very challenging upbringing and personal background;  adverse childhood experiences in terms of childhood trauma suffered by you, all as set out in considerable detail in the reports now available;  your young age at the time of the offending in this case; your significant mental health difficulties;  the shame now expressed by you; and of course your acceptance of responsibility for your offending by way of your early guilty pleas.  Your counsel has made reference to a psychiatric report dated October 2023, in which a diagnosis of a mixed anxiety and depressive illness with a background of post-traumatic stress associated with childhood trauma is made by the reporting psychiatrist.

Turning now to disposal, in the whole circumstances I have determined that, in respect of your campaign of sexual violence against the young child complainers in this case, notwithstanding your own young age at the time of that offending, you will serve on charges one and three on this indictment, on an in cumulo basis, a sentence of 6 years and 9 months imprisonment.  That period is discounted due to the timing of your plea from a period of 9 years. This in cumulo disposal will be backdated to 6 March 2023, being the date of your initial remand into custody in these proceedings. 

Finally, as a result of this disposal I confirm that you will henceforth be subject to the notification requirements contained in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period."