A man serving 20 years in prison after abducting and sexually assaulting a young girl has failed in a bid to reduce his sentence.
Andrew Miller, 54, instructed lawyers to go to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh earlier this month hoping to have his jail term cut.
Lord Arthurson gave Miller a 20-year jail term and ordered him to be supervised by the authorities for eight years following his release from custody.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Miller lured the young victim into his car at a location in the Scottish Borders.
He then held her captive in a property and repeatedly sexually assaulted her over a 27-hour long period.
Lord Arthurson said the crime was “frankly nauseating in its level of depravity and criminal deviance” and the abduction had been “brazen and chilling”.
He told Miller, who also uses the name Amy George but uses male pronouns, that he had “wicked and predatory” intentions.
Earlier this month, advocate Victoria Dow told appeal judges that Lord Arthurson had placed too “much weight” on Miller dressing in women’s clothing at the time of the abduction.
She said that Miller had a “transgender” identity and had lived and presented as a woman for “many years”.
She said that Lord Arthurson should have considered this when passing sentence.
On Wednesday, in a written judgment issued by the court Lord Carloway concluded that the sentence given to Miller was appropriate.
However, he made comments about how Lord Arthurson was wrong to conclude that Miller’s way of dressing at the time of abduction was to persuade the child to enter his car.
In the judgement, Lord Carloway said: “There are… erroneous, or at least speculative, aspects to the sentencing remarks, which have been founded upon in the appeal.
“First, the judge regarded, as a significantly aggravating factor, the appellant’s female apparel as indicative of a pre-conceived intention to abduct a girl.
“The court cannot agree. By the time of the incident, the appellant was already dressing as a woman as a matter of routine, rather than for any more sinister a reason.
“What the judge does focus on is what he perceived as victim blaming in the appellant’s interviews with the risk assessor.
“Given the nature of the questioning, the appellant’s responses did not justify the conclusions which the judge reached in relation to his attitude to the complainer or his crimes.”
Miller pleaded guilty in May 2023 to charges of abduction, sexual assault, watching pornography in the presence of the child under the age of 13 and possessing 242 indecent images of children.
During the appeal hearing, Ms Dow said that Miller’s decision to plead guilty saved the little girl the trauma of having to give evidence against him.
Ms Dow also told the court that Miller had been drinking excessively at the time of the offence and had been using pornography.
She said that this took place against the background of his butcher business failing and that this contributed to him suffering from poor mental health.
Ms Dow said these were reasons why her client shouldn’t have been given an order for lifelong restriction – a sentence which sees offenders only being released when the parole board concludes that they no longer pose a serious threat to public safety.
In the judgement issued on Wednesday, Lord Carloway said Miller had no previous convictions for sexual offending but did have a criminal record for minor offences.
He also wrote of how Miller had been an “inpatient” for psychiatric care when he was an adolescent.
He added: “He developed traits which are characteristic of a narcissistic personality, but he did not meet the diagnostic criteria for the relative disorder.”
In the judgment, Lord Carloway and his colleagues concluded that Miller shouldn’t be given an order for lifelong restriction.
Lord Carloway wrote this was because the crime was committed when Miller was 53 “against a background of psychological disturbance.”
He wrote: “The risk assessor has identified that, notwithstanding the depravity of the offence, the appellant has had a steady work record, contributed to the community over many years and, most important, has a positive attitude to authority and hence potential compliance with any post-release supervision requirements.
“He will have the opportunity to undertake rehabilitation courses whilst in prison and beyond. He may be amenable to change.
“Having regard to all of these factors, the court agrees with the assessment of the judge at first instance that, whereas this case merited an extended sentence with a substantial custodial component, an OLR was not appropriate.”
Lord Carloway also wrote that the term of 20 years custody with eight years of post release supervision wasn’t excessive.
He added: “The appeal is refused.”
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