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 KG
Aug 9, 2022
On sentencing, Lord Richardson said:
"You have pled guilty to the robbery and attempted murder of an 85 year old woman.
"This was truly a terrible crime – as we heard from the narrative at the last calling of the case, it was a vicious, brutal and cowardly attack on a defenceless elderly woman.
"You entered her house uninvited at night through a window and having armed yourself with a knife from her kitchen; you stabbed her at least 6 times on her body. Listening to the description of her wounds was excruciating.
"You carried out this attack even after she had offered you all the money that she had and had even opened the door so that you could leave.
"Your senseless and inexplicable act of violence must have been utterly terrifying for your victim. It is clear to me that it has had profound and life changing consequences for her.
"Although, fortunately, your victim recovered from the wounds you inflicted, she will bear the scars - both physical and psychological - for the rest of her life. You have forever shattered the sense of security that she had in her home of the last 57 years.
"In this regard, I have read and carefully considered the moving Victim Impact Statement prepared by her.
"I have also considered the reports prepared by your social workers, together with your schedule of previous convictions.
"I note that, notwithstanding your young age, you have already managed to accrue a number of convictions including for the possession of a knife in a public place and for battery. However, I also accept that the present offence is very much more serious than anything you have done previously.
"The Reports conclude that, at present, you pose a high likelihood of re-offending and that were you to commit a further specified offence, it is likely that the victim would sustain serious physical injury or psychological damage.
"I have also listened carefully to all that has been said on your behalf by Mr Stewart this morning in mitigation.
"I take into account your difficult upbringing, your mental health difficulties; and your other personal circumstances. I am in no doubt that you have experienced multiple adverse childhood experiences already in your short life.
"I note also that you appear to be genuinely remorseful for what you have done. I have read the statement which Mr Stewart has handed up today. I note that you start by offering sincere apology to your victim and saying that you will regret your actions every day of your life.
"I have particular regard, as the Sentencing Guidelines to which Mr Stewart referred require me to do, of your age – you were 15 when this offence was committed and when you were convicted of this offence – in other words – you were a child.
"You are and were clearly immature – and in particular lacked emotional maturity. You clearly had an underdeveloped sense of responsibility at the time of this offence. In this regard, I also take account of your diagnosis of ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Attachment Disorder.
"It is also possible you have capacity for change. You may yet develop into and demonstrate that you are capable of being a responsible adult who no longer offends.
"I recognise from your statement and from what Mr Stewart has said that you now seek to do this and it appears that you have made some progress in this regard during your time at Kenmure. There is undoubtedly significant work still to be done.
"Accordingly, as well as factors such as protection of the public, retribution and deterrence, the published sentencing guidelines require me to take into account, your best interests and the prospects for your reintegration and rehabilitation into society.
"I also acknowledge that you pled guilty at a very early stage in proceedings and have, as a result, avoided the need for a trial. There was a clear utilitarian benefit in this both to your victim and more generally.
"However, in all the circumstances, because of the extreme gravity of the crime which you have committed, I consider that a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal in your case.
"I am also satisfied that the period for which you would otherwise have been on licence would not be adequate to protect the public from serious harm when you are eventually released. In other words, I agree that an extended sentence is both merited and appropriate in your case.
"As a result of your age on conviction, I sentence you to be detained in terms of section 208 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. As I understand it, this means that you will continue to be detained at St Mary’s Kenmure at present.
"Had you been convicted after trial, I would have imposed an extended sentence of 9 years consisting of a custodial term of 6 years and an extension period of 3 years.
"Taking account of your early plea, I will reduce the custodial term to 4 years.
"The custodial term will be backdated to 17 September 2021 when you were remanded in custody.
"The custodial term is not the end of your sentence.
"The second part of your sentence will be served in the community. From the date of your release, you will be under licence for an extension period of 3 years. The conditions of your licence will be fixed by the Scottish Ministers. If during this extension period, you fail to comply with the conditions of your licence, it may be revoked; and you may be returned to custody for a further period in respect of this case. The court also has power to deal with you if you commit another offence after your release and while you are on licence.”