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HMA v Colleen Muirhead or Lornie


Sep 28, 2023

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lord Fairley sentenced Colleen Muirhead or Lornie to 3 years and 4 months in prison. The offender had pled guilty to embezzling £1.5 million over a 6 year period.

On sentencing Lord Fairley said:

“Colleen Muirhead, you pleaded guilty under section 76 procedure to embezzlement from your employer of a sum of over £1.5 million over a period of more than 6 years.

I have read the Criminal Justice Social Work Report prepared for today’s hearing, and I note that there are many factors in your background which provide context for your conduct. To the extent that those factors are mitigatory, I have taken them fully into account in the sentence that I am about to impose. 

I have listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf by Mr Gilmartin today and have noted the matters which he highlighted from the report. I also take into account the state of your health, the fact that you have no previous convictions, and that you have shown remorse.

Having regard to the scale of your embezzlement and the massive breach of trust that it represented, however, you will appreciate that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.

Had you been convicted after trial, the sentence that I would have imposed would have been one of imprisonment for 5 years. Having regard to the timing of your plea, I will modify that period to one of 3 years and 4 months (40 months). As you have been on bail to date, that sentence will commence today.”

28 September 2023