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.  

Follow us if you wish to receive alerts as soon as statements are published. 

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

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 David Andrew Johnstone


Oct 8, 2020

At the High Court in Edinburgh today Lord Uist imposed a compulsion order authorising detention in the State Hospital on David Andrew Johnstone after he was charged with murder and attempted murder. Lord Uist also ordered that the accused will be subject to the special restrictions set out in Part 10 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 without limit of time.
Lord Uist made the following statement in court:
“I am satisfied, having regard to the offences with which you were charged, the psychiatric evidence presented to me, the mental health officer’s report and all the circumstances, that a compulsion order in respect of you is necessary. I therefore make such an order authorising your detention in the State Hospital as I am satisfied that you require to be detained in hospital under conditions of special security and that such conditions can be provided only in the State Hospital.
Moreover, as it appears to me, having regard to the nature of the offences with which you were charged, your antecedents and the risk that you will commit offences if set at large, that it is necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm so to do, I shall further order that you shall be subject to the special restrictions set out in Part 10 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 without limit of time.”

08 October 2020