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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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 Dean Stevens
May 7, 2021
On sentencing, Lady Carmichael made the following statement in court:
“Dean Stevens, you pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman who was previously unknown to you with the intention of raping her. You were apparently intoxicated at the time. You followed her as she was on her way to work early in the morning, and attacked her in a park in Dunfermline.
That offence even taken alone would be very serious, and one which would give rise to concern as to the risk you pose to women. You also have previous convictions for sexual offences. In 2006 you were sentenced to an extended sentence of 9 years, including a custodial term of 6 years, for raping a 15 year old girl who was not known to you.
In 2018 you were sentenced to a community payback order for a contravention of section 8 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009. You were subject to supervision for 36 months, and were still subject to that supervision when you committed this offence.
I have been provided with a risk assessment report. It indicates that you present a high risk of offending again in a similar way in the future. You have an enduring propensity to cause serious harm to the public, and limited capacity for change. You have already had access to programmes aimed at reducing the risk of sexual offending, and it is evident that they have been unsuccessful. The author of the report describes you as a duplicitous individual. When you have been at liberty in the past you have deliberately deceived those who have had responsibility for supervising you and mitigating the risk you pose. You meet the diagnostic thresholds for a number of personality disorders which are relevant to your risk of reoffending.
I am satisfied that the criteria specified in section 210E of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 are met, and I am imposing an order for lifelong restriction. That is a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period. I require to specify what is called a punishment part of that sentence, which takes into account the need for retribution and deterrence, but not public protection. I require to identify a notional determinate sentence. Having regard to the nature of the offence in the context of your previous offending, that would have been a sentence of 8 years. After stripping out the element relevant to public protection that is reduced to 80 months. Taking account of certain statutory provisions regarding early release produces a sentence of 40 months. I also require to discount the period to take account of your plea of guilty. That produces a punishment part of 2 years and 3 months, which I must backdate to 8 June 2020.
It is important to understand that that does not mean you will be released at the end of that period. The sentence is for an indeterminate period, and if you come to be released, it will only be at such time as the Parole Board is satisfied that your imprisonment is no longer necessary for the protection of the public.
You will be subject to the notification requirements under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”