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 Stuart Watt
Oct 24, 2023
On sentencing, Lord Doherty told Watt:
“Stuart William Watt, you have been convicted of repeated rapes of a woman while she was asleep, attempting to rape her while she was asleep, and indecently assaulting her while she was asleep. You have also been convicted of sexually assaulting a child when she was 13 years of age.
I have regard to the contents of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report and to all that has been said on your behalf. You have a very limited record of previous convictions - two road traffic offences, both at summary level. You have a good employment record.
The fact remains that you have been convicted of very serious offences, and it is clear from the victim impact statements which I have read that they have had serious consequences for the victims.
I am going to impose an in cumulo sentence for all five offences. It is going to be an extended sentence because I am satisfied that the period you would otherwise be subject to licence would not be adequate for the purpose of protecting the public from serious harm from you. I sentence you to an extended sentence of 8 years’ imprisonment, of which the custodial part is 6 years and the extension period is 2 years. The sentence will be backdated to 26 September 2023, the date when you were remanded in custody.
You will remain subject to the notification requirements contained in Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.
You will also be made subject to non-harassment orders – not to approach, contact or communicate with the complainers, or attempt to do so, and not to enter the street where the complainers live. The order in relation to the adult complainer will be for an indefinite period. The order in relation to the child complainer will be for a period of 10 years, at which time consideration can be given to whether a further order is required.”
24 October 2023