Glasgow & West Scotland

Child abuser Robert Fury has jail term cut from 12 to four years

A child sex abuser has had his sentence cut from 12 years to four after appeal judges threw out convictions for rape and two other sexual assaults.

Robert Fury, 51, was jailed last year after a jury decided he abused three girls and a boy between 1976 and 2002 at houses in Helensburgh and Dumbarton.

He was found guilty of a string of sexual offences last year.

Fury successfully appealed some of the convictions on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to convict him.

Written judgement

In a written judgement, Lady Smith - sitting with Lady Dorrian and Lord Bracadale - threw out the convictions for a rape said to have been committed on a 17-year-old in 1991 as well as other sexual assault charges relating two two girls aged under 16.

Defence QC Brian McConnachie argued that the so-called "Moorov doctrine" allowing mutual corroboration of incidents due to similarities in the way they were carried out had been improperly applied in Fury's case.

As such, he argued the jury did not have sufficient evidence to convict him - an argument he made during a failed no case to answer submission during the trial.

Lady Smith wrote: "There were dissimilarities, there was no explanation for the substantial lapse of time and given the evidence the later events were not the first opportunities to resume the alleged course of conduct.

"Accordingly we consider the appeal is well founded.

"There was no proper basis on which the jury would have been entitled to infer the necessary underlying unity of intent - Moorov could not apply.

"The submission of no case to answer should have been upheld."

Boy attacked

Fury's trial last year was told how he had already targeted another young girl in the 1970s, starting when she was nine.

He went on to abuse a schoolgirl - in her early to mid teens at the time - at a house in Dumbarton between 2001 and 2004.

His final victim was a young boy whom Fury abused at the same property between 1995 and 2002.

This victim - who was aged about nine when he was first abused - also struck his head off a toilet after being assaulted.

He was later punched, slapped, hit with a belt and had a cigarette flicked at him.

Sentencing him at the High Court in Aberdeen last May, Lord Kinclaven told Fury: "You have been found guilty of a serious catalogue of offending.

"It started at the age of 12 and your last offence was committed when you were 39."

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