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 Martin
Jun 16, 2022
On sentencing, Lord Matthews said:
“You have pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of your step-father Keith Allan by striking him repeatedly on the head with a hammer at least fifteen times.
Your reason for attacking Mr Allan was a misguided notion that he was to blame for the death of your mother but there was no evidence for that. Even if he had been in any way to blame that is no excuse for acting as you did.
You are no stranger to violence, having been convicted on indictment of assault and assault to severe injury. I take account of your record, all of the circumstances of the offence and everything said on your behalf. I also take account of the terms of the reports and the timing of your plea.
The only sentence I can pass is one of imprisonment for life. In addition, I have to fix a period, known as the punishment part of the sentence, which must pass before you can apply for release on parole. Whether or not you are released will be a matter for others to decide.
Had you not pleaded guilty when you did the punishment part would have been 20 years. As it is I fix it at 17 years.
The sentence will run from 7 July 2021.”