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.  

Follow us if you wish to receive alerts as soon as statements are published. 

Once charges are spent, any statement in relation to them is removed and cannot be provided or acknowledged. Statements published before the launch of the website may be available on request. Please email

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.

For more information about how judges decide sentences; what sentences are available; and matters such as temporary release, see the independent Scottish Sentencing Council website.

Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.

Read more about civil judgments.

HMA v Thomas Fullerton


May 17, 2023

At the High Court in Glasgow today, Lord Matthews sentenced Thomas Fullerton to 7 years and 6 months imprisonment after the offender pled guilty to attempted murder

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following remarks in court: 

"You pled guilty at a first diet to a charge of attempted murder.

It appears that you and another male had been drinking heavily with the complainer, a friend of yours, and consuming drugs. You all went back to the complainer’s flat and an altercation of some kind ensued. According to your account you became aware that the other two had knives and described the atmosphere as eerie. You say that the complainer launched himself at you and you put up your hand to protect yourself.

There is indeed evidence that you sustained a dislocated right shoulder and an incised wound to the back of your left hand, although you told the hospital staff that you sustained your injuries from falling down.

The complainer professes to have no recollection of what happened.

It is clear, however, that whatever precipitated it, the violence which ensued was out of all proportion to what had gone before.

You struck the complainer a considerable number of times with a knife and a vodka bottle, to the extent that he sustained a large number of blunt force, incised and abraded injuries, all as detailed in the agreed narrative which was read on the previous occasion.

He underwent a CT scan and luckily no neurological intervention was required. While your attack endangered his life, his incised wounds were cleaned and closed with sutures and his jaw was repaired using a plate and screws. However, he lost part of his ear and he now suffers from PTSD and is fearful and anxious about going anywhere.

I have taken account of the contents of the report and what has been said on your behalf. I have also taken account of your record. While it does you no credit, I am not satisfied, given the gaps in your offending, your work record, and your personal circumstances, that you pose such a risk to the public that the conditions of an ordinary licence will not be sufficient to protect them on your release, so an extended sentence is not appropriate.

As Mr Graham said, this is a clear example of what can happen when controlled drugs are abused. People who are otherwise friendly can act in an appalling manner towards each other, resulting in severe injury and sometimes death. As you recognise, however, the consumption of intoxicants is no excuse.

Had the matter gone to trial I would have imposed a sentence of imprisonment for 10 years.  In view of the timing of your plea that will be reduced to imprisonment for 7 years and 6 months. The sentence will run from 2 May 2022 when you first appeared in court."


17 May 2023