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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.
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Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.
HMA v Craig Walker
Apr 3, 2023
On sentencing, Lady Stacey said:
“You have been found guilty of murdering Lauren Wilson. For murder, the punishment is fixed by law. You will be sentenced to life imprisonment on charge 2.
I take account of what has been said in mitigation by senior counsel. I note that at the age of 40 you have no previous convictions. You have a history of employment.
I take account of the limited mitigating factors I have mentioned in fixing the punishment part of your life sentence which is the period of time you will serve in prison before being considered for parole. In fixing it, I must reflect the need to punish you for the crime of murder and deter you and others from committing it. The law requires me to ignore any risk that you may pose to the public in the future. This does not mean that you will serve just this period. It will be for the Parole Board to determine when it is safe for you to be released from prison. The question of parole cannot arise before the punishment part has passed.
I must also take account of the seriousness of the crime of murder of which you have been convicted, combined with the other offences on the indictment. I will deal first with the other crimes.
Charge 3 involved an organised and determined, albeit ultimately futile, attempt to conceal evidence of what you had done in order to evade justice. The sentence on that charge is 3 years imprisonment, concurrent with life sentence.
You murdered an innocent woman who had got into a relationship with you and must have trusted you. You murdered her by stabbing her 29 times, and compressing her throat and inflicting injuries on her head and face. These actions are disgraceful. No one can know the pain and terror you may have inflicted on Lauren Wilson. It is clear that it was a very violent attack.
Lauren Wilson was a much loved daughter, step daughter, sister and mother. She also had a group of loyal friends whom she had known since school. Nothing that I can say or do can assuage the grief these people feel and always will feel. The consequences of what you did are devastating for Lauren Wilson’s family including of course her very young daughter. Their grief is overwhelming and naturally they find it difficult to articulate how much they are suffering. You have deprived that child of her mother’s love and guidance. She has memories of her mother and is much too young to be able to understand what has happened. Lauren Wilson’s family have the heavy responsibility of bringing her child up, trying to shield her from what has happened while all the time grieving themselves.
Considering the whole circumstances, the punishment part on the charge of murder will be one of 21 years, backdated to 28 May 2021.
This does not mean that this is a sentence of 21 years. You are sentenced to life imprisonment and you will serve at least 21 years before you can be considered for release on parole. It will be for the Parole Board to determine whether you will ultimately be released and they will consider the safety of the public in reaching that decision.
The sentences will be served concurrently and are backdated to 28 May 2021.”
3 April 2023