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 Raymond Ward
May 30, 2022
On sentencing, Judge Fiona Tait made the following statement:
"Raymond Ward, on 14 April 2022, at the High Court at Edinburgh you were convicted of causing the death of Claire Anderson by dangerous driving.
On 14 June 2019, you undertook a course of driving on the outskirts of Kirkwall, driving at excessive speed and veering onto the opposing carriageway at various points and that driving culminated in you attempting to negotiate a bend at speed, crossing onto the opposing carriageway and colliding with Miss Anderson’s car.
Miss Anderson was driving in the correct lane and was entirely blameless in the resulting collision. She was at the time making a routine journey from her home into Kirkwall.
Miss Anderson was 24 years old and part of a close and loving family with her parents, older brother and twin sister. She was popular, with many friends and worked caring for the elderly. The pain and distress caused to Miss Anderson’s family is evident in how difficult they found it to provide a Victim Impact Statement, a task they never thought they would have to undertake. Miss Anderson’s brother took on the role and has written sensitively about how each family member keenly feels her loss and the continuing impact on their daily lives, especially on her twin sister to whom she was exceptionally close. Mr Anderson also highlights the difficulties of your offence having taken place in a small, island community where they and you live.
You are aged 30 and have a consistent employment record. You have two previous convictions from 2010 and 2015. The 2010 conviction was for drink driving. Alcohol and drugs played no part in the present offence.
You were injured in the collision and required surgery but that too was a consequence of your dangerous driving.
I am acutely aware that no sentence I can impose can make up for Claire Anderson’s loss. I have to pass a sentence which is fair and proportionate.
I have listened carefully to what Ms Forrest has said on your behalf this morning and take all of the points advanced in mitigation into account in determining a suitable sentence in your case. I have taken account of all the circumstances of the offence, your personal circumstances, the effects on you and your expressions of remorse.
I have given careful consideration to the criminal justice social work report, the reference from your employers and the detailed letter from the counsellor whom you attend.
Nonetheless, this is a very serious offence and I conclude that a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal in your case.
To assist me as a cross-check I have had regard to the Definitive Sentencing Guideline for England and Wales.
I have decided that the appropriate sentence of imprisonment is one of six years to run from today.
You will in addition be disqualified from driving for a period of ten years, increased from seven years to account for your prison sentence and until you pass the extended test of competence to drive."