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HMA v Francis Bowman


Jun 11, 2021

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lady Poole sentenced Francis Bowman to five years’ imprisonment after the offender was found guilty of rape.


On sentencing, Lady Poole made the following statement in Court: “Francis Bowman, you were convicted by the jury on 14 May 2021 at the High Court sitting in Aberdeen of sexual offences including rape.

In 2018, when you were 67 years old, you took advantage of a woman aged 30. She met you properly for the first time on the day you raped her, when you were assisting in transporting a cot and children’s clothes to her flat. She trusted you, because the arrangement for transport had been made through her family, and she said you were old enough to be her grandad. She lived in the flat with her 1 year old daughter, and was glad of the company when you asked her if she would like a drink that evening. You bought alcohol to drink with her, and obtained cannabis for her. When she fell asleep fully clothed on the settee later that evening, and was at her most vulnerable, you took advantage of her. She was woken by you performing sexual acts on her, having taken off parts of her clothing. She froze. You then raped her. 

This was a deplorable offence. You abused the trust your victim had placed in you. You obtained intercourse by stealth, by plying her with drink and drugs and waiting until she was asleep and incapable of consenting. 

Your victim was upset and angry when she awoke to you having sex with her. She was also distressed when having to recount it afterwards, including in the witness box. The long term effect of this type of offence on her can only be imagined.

You have shown no remorse. 

I ordered a criminal justice social work report with a risk assessment. You are assessed as a medium risk of being convicted of a further sexual offence on one matrix, and at a low risk of re-offending using a different risk assessment tool.

I have listened carefully to the submissions of your counsel in mitigation and I have taken into account all of the points advanced on your behalf in determining the appropriate disposal in your case. I take into account that you have learning difficulties and are dyslexic, but do not consider those difficulties had any link to your offending. I also take into account your age and health conditions, but note that you were able to offend despite advancing years and infirmity. You have a good work history. You have only a short record of previous convictions, none of which are analogous, and none of which resulted in custodial sentences. 

Although you have not previously been sentenced to imprisonment, having regard to the seriousness of the offence of which you have been convicted, no other method of dealing with you other than imprisonment is appropriate. Sexual offending against women will not be tolerated in our society. I do not however consider that the criteria for an extended sentence have been met.

The sentence I impose is five years imprisonment. That sentence will be backdated to 14 May 2021 when you were first remanded in custody. 

As a result of that sentence you are 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.”

11 June 2021