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 Christian Dare
Sep 1, 2023
On sentencing, Judge Craig said:
“Christian Dare – the jury convicted you by a majority of raping your victim. It was clear from the evidence that she had explicitly told you that she did not want to have intercourse with you, and why, but you ignored that and went on to rape her. It was also clear from your evidence at trial that you knew she had said no, but you had sex with her nonetheless. That, Mr Dare, is rape and that is why the jury, quite properly, convicted you.
I have read the victim impact statement which describes your offending as having had a profound emotional and psychological impact on your victim.
I have also read the statements in support of your character and see that you retain the confidence of friends and family. While it is clear you have a supportive network none of that reduces the seriousness of your offence and is in stark contrast to the impact your actions have had on your victim.
Neither at trial nor in the criminal justice social work report do you acknowledge or accept your guilt; that makes it difficult to assess your level of risk. However in selecting sentence I have had regard to the lack of any previous convictions and that there does not appear to be broader background of domestic or sexual offending. I am therefore satisfied that a determinate sentence is appropriate albeit it that you will be monitored in the community once you are finally released on license.
In selecting the length of the sentence I have taken into account your age, both now and at the time of the offences, your otherwise pro-social life and positive supports. I have also had regard to the fact that you have never lived in Scotland or had any connection here so that will likely make it particularly difficult for you to serve a sentence here. I also have regard to the fact that you and your current partner have responsibilities in relation to a foster child in the Netherlands which she will now have to take on without your support. Having regard to the sentencing guidelines, the circumstances of the offending and your own circumstances, I impose a sentence of four years and three months – three months of which relates to the domestic aggravation on the charge. That will be backdated to the date of your remand in custody on 4 August 2023.
You will remain subject to the notification requirements applicable to sex offenders for an indefinite period, and your name will be added to the lists of persons deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.”01 September 2023