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HMA v Craig Morrison


Jan 23, 2024

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lady Wise sentenced Craig Morrison to 10 years and 6 months in prison and added his name to the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely. Morrison had been found guilty rape, assault and threatening behaviour.

On sentencing, Lady Wise said:

“Craig Morrison, you were convicted by the jury of all 6 charges before them. These ranged from single instances of behaving in an abusive or threatening manner to serious physical assaults and rapes of your victim over a period of many years. The charges were all related in that you perpetrated a very long course of violent and abusive conduct on the complainer. You threw household items at her, punched and kicked her, struck her on the head and threw a door handle at her. The most serious assault involved you turning her upside down and striking her head on the floor, as a result of which she sustained a fracture to her spine.

Over a period of years you would, when under the influence of alcohol, physically assault your victim and then rape her. She gave a compelling account of a pattern of being forced to have sexual intercourse following violence or the threat of violence. It was clear that you terrorised her. While the acts of rape eventually ceased, the impact on your victim persisted. Eventually she confronted you in the presence of a witness about those rapes.

Your violent, degrading and controlling behaviour has had enduring consequences for your victim and for others who were present on occasions and who were also subjected to your aggression. The fact that you were often under the influence of alcohol on such occasions and so your victim was unable to reason with you, exacerbated the situation.   You terrorised the vulnerable and created an atmosphere of fear and dread as to what you would do next.

You have continued to deny responsibility for the most serious offences and made only very limited admissions in relation to some of the incidents of threatening behaviour, the last of which was relatively recent and confirmed that you remain unable to control your temper. You have a few unrelated previous criminal convictions which are relatively minor, but I note that you already have an assault conviction with a domestic aggravation which post-dates the assaults of which you have now been convicted.  That aggravating factor is present in the course of conduct of which you have now been convicted. Your conduct includes breaching a court order requiring that you do not contact your victim.

I have taken into account all that Mr Mackenzie has said on your behalf this morning. The rapes took place decades ago now and I take that into account, albeit to a very limited extent. The criminal justice social enquiry report, which I have also read with care, confirms that you continue to deny responsibility for the rapes of which you have been convicted and that in relation to the assaults you seek to blame your victim who you allege instigated some of the violence. By their verdict the jury clearly rejected that account.

You are now 62 years old. While you were a young man at the beginning of your course of conduct you were a fully grown adult for most of it. Although you have not served a custodial sentence previously, in light of the verdict there is no alternative to a significant prison sentence, which I deem necessary to fulfil the relevant sentencing purposes of punishment, to mark the seriousness of your appalling behaviour and mark society’s disapproval of it. I am not satisfied however that the statutory test for an extended sentence is met.

I sentence you to 10 years and six months imprisonment, backdated to 19 December 2023 when I remanded you in custody. That is a cumulo sentence of 10 years and six months on charges 1,2,3,4 and 5. On charge 6 I sentence you to four months’ imprisonment, to run concurrently with the cumulo sentence referred to.  In respect of charge 3 you are subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period and your name has been added to the lists of persons deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.”

23 January 2024