June 2016

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.

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.”

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.”

May 2015

Child abuser and rapist jailed for 12 years

A man who was convicted of physical and sexual abuse against three girls and a boy has been jailed for 12 years.

Robert Fury, 50, first targeted a 10-year-old girl, when he was aged 12, in the 1970s. He later raped a 17-year-old woman in Helensburgh in 1991.

The High Court in Aberdeen heard he also abused a teenage girl in Dumbarton between 2001 and 2004 and attacked a young boy there between 1995 and 2002.

Fury was also placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Jailing him, judge 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.

“The court has to mark the seriousness of your offending.”

Prior to sentencing, defence QC Brian McConnachie said Fury had not engaged with social workers after being found guilty during an earlier hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

The lawyer said Fury “denies responsibility for his crimes”.

History of offending

Fury first started on his victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in the mid to late 1970s shortly after turning 12 years old, when he made various sexual advances to another girl aged around 10 years old. 

During this time he also carried out an assault on the girl – repeatedly hitting her on the body. 

He then went on to abuse and assault a schoolgirl in her early to mid-teens at a property in Dumbarton between 2001 and 2004. 

His final victim, a young boy, suffered a series of horrendous attacks at the same property between 1995 and 2002.

Fury made the boy lie face down in a bath filled with water for “extended periods of time” and also forced the youngster’s head under water to restrict his breathing. 

On other occasions he pushed the boy’s teeth into his lips causing him to fall over and strike his head on a toilet.

Fury also hit the boy with a belt.