Appeal the decision of Christopher Daniel's sentencing

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!


The Empowered Woman Project was alerted to a Scottish case by follower Laura Hastings. 

STV reported today:

Sheriff Gerard Sinclair found Christopher Daniel, 18, guilty of sexually assaulting a girl on numerous occasions when she was aged between six and eight.

But the "wholly exceptional" sentence means the teenage dental student does not have a criminal record and was not put on the sex offenders register.

Following a series of STV News reports, the Judicial Office for Scotland published a statement on Thursday detailing the sheriff's reasons.

The victims's family are angry and confused by the reasons given - accusing the sheriff of making assumptions and getting facts wrong.

The statement said from the victim's family said:

"The sheriff considered the offence to be the result of an entirely inappropriate curiosity of an emotionally naive teenager rather than for the purpose of sexual gratification."

The girl's mum said:

"I am absolutely gobsmacked by this. How can he possibly know this? It also seems to be at odds with the charge which was of sexual assault. He also says that my daughter appears not to have suffered any 'long-lasting effects'. Again, how can he possibly know this? No-one has asked me at any point how my daughter is."

Since Daniel's trial at Dumbarton Sheriff Court last month, the family had been unable to obtain the sheriff's reasons.

The release of the statement is highly unusual - but the Judicial Office for Scotland did not warn the victim's family that it was happening.

The sheriff says his sentence was based on the attacker's immaturity, social awkwardness and the fact his level of offending did not escalate.

He also placed importance on the damage that a conviction could do to Daniel's career.

The statement read:

"As to the circumstances of the offence, the sheriff considered that the actions, occurring on more than one occasion could not be classed as spontaneous.

"However, there had been no attempt to escalate the nature of the offending.

"In light of the evidence as to the immaturity of the accused, and the nature of the discussion during which he admitted his actions, the sheriff considered the offence to be the result of an entirely inappropriate curiosity of an emotionally naive teenager rather than for the purpose of sexual gratification."

"The accused had appeared both noticeably immature and socially awkward, features confirmed by other evidence in the case.

"It was fortunate that the complainer appeared to have suffered no injury or long-lasting effects.

"Any sentence would mean that he would probably be unable to continue his university course."

The sheriff also said he took the decision because the family "held no ill will" against Daniel and were not "seeking any form of retribution".

I'm sorry but... we want this decision appealed. And urgently. For the girl and for her family and for any victims of sexual trauma / violence.