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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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 Michael Conroy
Mar 2, 2022
On sentencing, Sheriff Thomson made the following statement in Court:
“You pled guilty at a continued first diet to an amended charge under section 12 of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937.
The Procurator Fiscal has narrated the terms of the charge earlier and I will not repeat them.
The court heard narrative on this on 21 September 2021 and has considered the Criminal Justice and Social Work report in detail.
Tragically – although I emphasise this forms no part of the charge for which you are being sentenced – Kiera died on 20 December 2017 at the age of 18 months, with the cause of death being unascertained.
The court requested further narrative on as the original narrative did not provide full detail on the matters to which you have pled guilty.
Subsequent narrative has been provided to the court today detailing the ill treatment and neglect to which you have pled guilty, including medical information in relation to lack of nourishment and fluids and exposure to Diclazepam.
I have listened carefully to all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation.
First, the seriousness of the offence, taking account of:
- your culpability; and
- the harm caused.
Secondly, the range of potential sentences available to me including the presumption against passing a sentence of imprisonment on a person aged 21 or over who has not previously been sentenced to imprisonment,
Thirdly, the aggravating and mitigating factors including your previous record which included a charge of assault – I understand from the Criminal Justice and Social Work against your mother - in 2017,
And having had regard also to the principle and purposes of sentencing including, in no order of priority: protection of the public; punishment; rehabilitation of offenders; giving you the opportunity to make amends; and expressing disapproval of your offending behaviour,
And taking account of the fact that you have previously been the subject of a community payback order which was breached,
With sadness I have concluded that no method of disposal other than custody is appropriate.
I have concluded that a headline sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment is fair and appropriate.
Taking account of your plea of guilty, that will be reduced to 62 weeks’ imprisonment.
In light of what has been said about the extent of social work involvement, I will make no order under section 48 of the 1995 Act.”
2 March 2022