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.
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.
Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.
HMA v Dene Stevenson
Dec 10, 2020
On sentencing, Lord Uist made the following statement in court:
“You were convicted by the jury at Livingston High Court of the rape of a drunken 14 year old girl in muddy woodland in Livingston on 20 October 2017. You supplied her with alcohol, lay on her, pulled her lower clothing down, forced her legs apart and attempted to lick her vagina, repeatedly attempted to penetrate her vagina with your penis, forced her head towards your penis, restrained her and penetrated her vagina with your penis. After the incident she telephoned a friend in a distressed state and said she had been raped by you. She was also observed by others in a distressed and dishevelled state. You later admitted to her father that you had had intercourse with her. It is a matter of concern that you went out that day when you were drunk and befriended a group of much younger girls before walking off into the woods with your victim.
You are now 21 years old and were 18 years old at the time that you committed this crime. You have only one minor previous conviction, which I shall ignore for present purposes. You have history of drug and alcohol abuse and have not worked for over a year. I have considered the criminal justice social work report on you and all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation. Rape is obviously a serious crime which must attract a significant sentence and in this case it is aggravated by the fact that it was a calculated attack in a public place on a defenceless 14 year old girl who had had far too much to drink. The sentence which I impose is 6 years imprisonment, to run from 23 October 2020.
As a result of that sentence you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”