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 and cannot be provided or acknowledged. Statements published before the launch of the website may be available on request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
HMA v Aaron Thomas James Hickman
Jul 28, 2020
On sentencing, Lord Uist made the following statement in court:
“You pleaded guilty to two serious sexual attacks, both committed within a very short time of each other in a house in Fife. The first attack consisted of a sexual assault on a 16 year old girl and the second consisted of the attempted rape of a 15 year old girl. These were opportunistic crimes. What possessed you to act in such a manner I do not know. Each victim must have been terrified by the sudden attack upon her. It was only because the second victim resisted you that the crime did not amount to completed rape.
You are now 24 years old and have a good background. I have considered the terms of the criminal justice social work report and all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation, but you must appreciate that crimes of this sort must attract prison sentences which will mark their gravity.
Had you been convicted by a jury after trial I would have imposed a sentence of 5 years imprisonment on both charges taken together. In view of the time at which you pleaded guilty that sentence will be reduced to 3 years 9 months imprisonment.
As a result of that sentence you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”
27 July 2020