Police sergeant has ‘excessive’ jail-term for 1970s rape conviction slashed

Paul Greig was initially sentenced to eight years in his trial at Edinburgh's High Court
Paul Greig was initially sentenced to eight years in his trial at Edinburgh's High Court
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A POLICE sergeant who was jailed for eight years for raping two young girls as a teenager had his sentence slashed by appeal judges today after they ruled his punishment was excessive.

Paul Greig (52) was convicted of abusing the sisters at a house in West Lothian when he was babysitting the children aged seven and nine in 1974 and 1975.

The sentencing judge, Lord Kinclaven, told Greig at the High Court in Edinburgh last year: “It is clear you have caused a high level of harm.”

Greig was placed on the sex offenders’ register following his conviction and Lord Kinclaven told him there was no alternative to “a significant custodial sentence”.

But Greig, formerly of Armadale, in West Lothian, appealed against the prison term imposed on him and has now succeeded in having it almost halved.

The appeal judges said they considered that Lord Kinclaven did not give adequate weight to Greig’s age at the time of the offences and his subsequent many years of “responsible adulthood”

Lord Carloway, the now Lord Justice Clerk, sitting with Lady Smith added that there was a lack of any need to include an element in the sentence for thefuture protection of the public.

The senior judge said at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that Greig had to be sentenced as an adult but account must be taken of his age and relative immaturity at the time of the crimes.

Lord Carloway said: “In addition, the significance of the 37 years or so which has elapsed since the date of the offending, without criminal conduct, is relevant. It indicates that the risk of re-offending is low.”

“Furthermore, during that period, the appellant has been shown to have made a positive contribution to society. These are important considerations in the sentencing assessment,” he said.

“The court can proceed on the basis that the appellant is to be regarded as a first offender who has, over many years, shown himself to be a responsible member of society,” he added.

During his trial the married grandfather had denied the charges of molesting the raping the girls and maintained that the allegations were fantasies.

But Greig, who joined the Lothian and Borders force in 1992 and rose to the rank of sergeant, was found guilty of four offences. Threats were also made to the victims to prevent them disclosing his actions. The abuse occurred when Greig was aged 14 and 15.

The court heard that the victims had described their happy childhoods being ended and fear being created by Greig’s abuse.

Lord Carloway said statements “tell of estrangement, isolation and low esteem with continuing anxiety, distress and confusion.”

The judge said: “On any view, the effects must be regarded as substantial and prolonged.”

He said that Greig’s daughter had “written a powerful and moving assessment of the impact, which the pursuit of the allegations has had, on both the appellant and members of his family.”

Lord Carloway said: “As might be expected, the appellant’s reputation, no doubt well merited, as a hard-working, devoted and caring husband and father, has all but been destroyed.”

The judges were told that Greig had attempted suicide on several occasions.

Lord Carloway said: “The problem which arises in this appeal is the identification of the correct principles to be employed in sentencing an adult offender for crimes committed when a child.”

He said the appeal judges rejected a submission that the sentence to be passed on an adult for crimes committed as a child should be the same as would be imposed on the offender if still a child.