A judge may decide to publish a statement after passing sentence on an accused 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.
Statements are removed after around 12 months, but may be available on request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Lee Barry Thomson
Dec 11, 2020
On sentencing, Lord Uist made the following statement in court:
“You were convicted by the jury at Aberdeen High Court on 21 February this year of a total of 14 charges – six of rape, two of sexual assault with penetration, four of physical assault and two offences of stalking involving the use of covert audio and video recording devices. The crimes of sexual and physical violence involved three different women as your victims and covered the period from March 2003 to January 2018. I note in particular your conviction on charge 9 for assault to severe injury in March 2014 resulting in your victim having to have surgery to her jaw and a titanium plate inserted and your conviction on charge 15 for rape in June 2015 which included you compressing your victim’s throat and rendering her unconscious.
Having regard to the terms of these convictions I considered that the risk criteria might be met in your case and called for a risk assessment report. That report, the terms of which are not challenged on your behalf, is now available. It assesses you as being at high risk as the nature, seriousness and pattern of your behaviour indicates an enduring propensity to seriously endanger the lives or physical or psychological well-being of the public at large. It states that you have, over a number of years and in relation to a number of victims, committed serious violence and caused significant harm, that your offending was undetected for years, you deny offending, blame the victims and do not see any need to change your behaviour. The risk assessor has further stated that it is likely that you will continue to commit violence, sexual violence and stalking offences against partners or women you are involved with.
You are now 49 years old and are the father of ten children by four different women. It is clear from the evidence which I heard at the trial, and confirmed in subsequent reports which I have received, that you suffer from a degree of paranoia. A consultant psychiatrist has reported that you have had since childhood a tendency to resentment, suspiciousness and mistrust of others, not just in close relationships, and that you appear to have significant problems arising from paranoid and borderline personality disorder traits. I am satisfied, in light of the contents of the risk assessment report and the other reports which I have received, that the risk criteria are met in your case. I therefore make an order for lifelong restriction in respect of you on all charges of which you were convicted apart from charges 4 and 13, the stalking charges, on which you are admonished. That order constitutes a sentence of imprisonment for an indefinite period. I must also fix the punishment part of your sentence, being the period which you must spend in full in prison before you can apply to the Parole Board for Scotland to be released on licence. Had I been imposing a fixed sentence on charges 2, 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 20 taken together I would have imposed a sentence of 15 years imprisonment. Applying the appropriate formula, I fix your punishment part at six years. You must not assume that you will automatically be released on licence at the end of that period: you will be released only when it is considered no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison.
Your sentence will run from 21 February 2020.
As a result of the sentence imposed on the sexual offence charges you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”
11 December 2020