VE v HM Advocate

Sentencing – Young offender – Statutory rape of young child. High Court of Justiciary: Allowing an appeal against sentence by an appellant who was convicted at the age of 15 of a charge of repeated statutory rape of a girl aged 5 and 6 over an 18-month period, and a charge of a sexual assault by touching a girl aged 7 and 8 over the same period, the offences being committed when he was aged 14, the court held that the sentence of 6 years' detention imposed in respect of the statutory rape charge was excessive as the trial judge attached too much weight to issues of planning and trust and did not appear to have had adequate regard to the welfare of the child offender and the need to facilitate rehabilitation and reintegration into society; it therefore substituted a sentence of 3 years and 9 months' detention on that charge.

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