LM v HMA 2018

LM, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for a series of sexual offences against two boys, AM and PG, had an appeal against his conviction rejected after the appeal judges ruled there was ‘no merit’ in his arguments. The man was convicted after Trial in March 2017.

The appellant claimed that the charges of lewd and libidinous behaviour and indecent assault could not provide “mutual corroboration” for the evidence relating to the charge of sodomy. He stated that there was not enough evidence for this as the assaults against both boys were “materially different”.

His counsel argued that the boys relationship with the offender and where the assaults happened were all different and this was relevant. Therefore it was claimed that there was such a “significant difference” in character that the behaviour that it could not be corroborated. However, the advocate depute argued that the behaviour led to “a course of conduct” and therefore this could be founded upon as less serious charges could corroborate more serious charges. It was concluded by the prosecution that the case had to be looked at as a whole.

Lady Paton stated in concluding the appeal: “When assessing the submission made in terms of section 97, the trial judge had to view the appellant’s conduct as a whole, rather than in individual compartments.

When so viewed, a jury would be entitled to conclude that the appellant’s behaviour towards AG and PM was controlling and dominating conduct directed to using each boy for the appellant’s own sexual gratification, and going as far as he could with each boy. The fact that there was penetration in PM’s case, but not in AG’s, would not be determinative.” The Moorov doctrine was therefore met in this case.