SENTENCING STATEMENTS

 

A judge may decide to publish a statement after passing sentence on an offender in cases where there is particular public interest; where a case has legal significance; or where providing the reasons for the decision might assist public understanding.

Please note that statements may include graphic details of offences when it is necessary to fully explain the reasons behind a sentencing decision.  

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Once charges are spent, any statement in relation to them is removed. Statements published before the launch of the website may be available on request. Please email judicialcomms@scotcourts.gov.uk

The independence of the judiciary is essential to safeguard people’s rights under law - enabling judges to make decisions impartially based solely on evidence and law, without interference or influence from the government or politicians.

When deciding a sentence, a judge must deal with the offence that the offender has been convicted of, taking into account the unique circumstances of each particular case. The judge will carefully consider the facts that are presented to the Court by both the prosecution and by the defence.

For more information about how judges decide sentences; what sentences are available; and matters such as temporary release, see the independent Scottish Sentencing Council website.

Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.

Read more about civil judgments.

HMA v Liam Hay

 

Apr 3, 2020

At the High Court in Glasgow today (13 January 2020), Lady Stacey imposed a life sentence on Liam Hay with a punishment part of 19 years, after he pled guilty to murder.

 

On sentencing, Lady Stacey made the following statement in court:
 
“Nothing that I can do or say in court this morning puts a value on Antony McGladrigan’s life.
 
What you did that night was shocking. You have acknowledged that and on the last calling of the case and again today Mr Duguid apologised on your behalf. You have to live with that for the rest of your life.
 
What you did makes no sense to anyone.  Your actions were I am told caused by your being very intoxicated by drugs and alcohol. That of course is no excuse. It may be an explanation for what would otherwise be incredible but I emphasise it is no excuse.
 
I know from the statements I have read from Mr McGladrigan’s family that by your actions you have deprived them of his society. That included his wife and his son and daughter and his parents. He had much to offer and I know from the statements I have read he will be sorely missed.
 
He let your friend in that night because he was the sort of person who tried to help others. In doing so he ended up losing his own life, because you followed your friend to the house and when you were not allowed in you broke the window and got in.
 
You are fortunate to come from a good family and you continue to have their support. While your schooling may not have been entirely plain sailing you have had the benefit of education. You should have known better than to go on a seven day binge of drugs and drink.
 
The only sentence that I can by law impose is a life sentence and I do so now. I have to set a punishment part. It does not set the time which you must serve. Rather it sets the time that must elapse before your release can be considered by others who will have to decide if it is safe to release you. In doing so I take into account your youth and the fact that you pled guilty at a preliminary hearing and so there was no trial.
 
The punishment part which I fix is 19 years which will be backdated to 28 June 2019, the date in which you first appeared from custody.”