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 Craig Kenneth Elwood
Jan 10, 2024
"Mr Elwood, the first stage of a sentencing exercise is for me to consider the seriousness of the offences which you have committed, both in terms of the level of fault on your part and in terms of the harm caused or potential harm.
You have perpetrated serious assaults on two females by repeatedly striking them on the head, robbing one of them and entering the home of the other and causing her to suffer a brain haemorrhage. The fact that she did not sustain long lasting effects or even worse is simply sheer luck. The potential consequences of your actions could have been catastrophic.
In terms of aggravating factors, the offences were committed where you were under the influence of drugs. It is also of significance that you have an unenviable record which includes 6 convictions for assaults or assaults to injury, some including the use of a knife. You are no stranger to prison. Previous disposals have resulted in you being sentenced twice to terms of imprisonment in excess of 2 ½-years and on both occasions you have been the subject of supervised release orders.
I have taken on board the terms of the Justice Social Work Report and all that is said about your personal circumstances including the section headed "sensitive information".
I note that you have found it easier to abstain from illicit drug taking whilst on remand but note that you are very likely to relapse into drug misuse upon your release. There is no significant gaps in your offending over a 22 year period.
You have expressed shame for your actions and it is said there was no pre- planning of the attacks on the two women but there is no escaping the fact that you went to the address and gained entry with an expectation that other unnamed individuals would be there and violence would ensue.. In other words you went looking for trouble.
I note that you have been on remand in relation to this case since 6 February 2023 and acknowledge that your time in prison has not been easy as you have been targeted in relation to drug debts.
However given the serious nature of these offences and your criminal record including analogous violent offending I consider that a lengthy custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal in your case.
In relation to charges 1 and 2, I am satisfied that the period for which you would otherwise have been on licence would not be adequate to protect the public from serious harm from you when you are eventually released. For that reason I shall impose, in cumulo, an extended sentence of 6 years with a custodial term of 4 years imprisonment and an extension period of 2 years. The custodial term has been discounted from 54 months having regard to the fact that you pied guilty at the trial diet.
The first part of the sentence is an immediate period in custody and will be backdated to 6 February 2023 being the date of your remand in custody.
The second part of the sentence will be served in the community. From the.date of your release you will be under licence for an extension period of 2 years. The conditions of your licence will be fixed by the Scottish Ministers. If during this extension period you fail to comply with the conditions of your licence it may be revoked and you may be returned to prison. The court also has the power to deal with you if you commit another offence whilst you are on licence after your release."
10 January 2024