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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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 George Taylor
Feb 18, 2021
On sentencing, Lord Arthurson made the following statement in court:
“George Taylor, the jury has today convicted you after trial of very grave offending, comprising sexual violence against two women who were at the time of your offending against them aged 14 years and 16 to 17 years respectively. In particular, you have been convicted of two charges of rape, one charge of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour contrary to section 6 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 and one charge of breach of the peace. The sexual offending which I have just narrated represents an appalling course of predatory sexual offending towards two vulnerable girls.
Your criminal record is deplorable. You have accrued 20 groups of libelled convictions to date, four at indictment level, and served 9 custodial sentences. The offences before the Court today represent your fourth conviction on indictment for sexual offending. In October 2012 you were convicted at Glasgow High Court of a charge of rape contrary to section 1 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 and in June 2013 in respect of that conviction you were made the subject of an Order for Lifelong Restriction. You appeared on petition from custody in respect of the matters featuring on the present indictment, which matters of course pre-date your October 2012 High Court conviction, at Peterhead Sheriff Court on 26 February 2019. You were fully committed on 6 March 2019.
I have listened with care to the submissions advanced in mitigation on your behalf by your senior counsel today, and take all of that into account in determining an appropriate sentence. I note your senior counsel’s submission that there have been several potential opportunities for the Crown to have previously indicted you in respect of the offences libelled against you in this case regarding the first complainer in such a way that you may well have by now completed any sentence deemed appropriate for these matters. I further note what has been said about your progress within and completion of significant offence-focussed work while in custody in respect of the Order for Lifelong Restriction. In addition I take into account your own relatively young age as at the date of the index offending in this case.
Standing your present status as being subject to an Order for Lifelong Restriction, I see no practical purpose in adjourning for a background report and risk assessment. Instead I propose to proceed to the disposal of your case today and I now accordingly sentence you on this indictment as follows. On charge 4 you will be admonished and dismissed. You will serve, on an in cumulo basis, in respect of charges 1, 2 and 7, a sentence of imprisonment of nine years. This sentence will be backdated to the date of your initial remand in respect of these matters, namely to 26 February 2019.
In terms of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 I am required to state that you have been convicted of sexual offences on this indictment to which Part 2 of that Act applies. You are now and will henceforth as a result of this sentence be subject to the notification requirements contained in the Act for an indefinite period. The Court has certified all of these facts and you will shortly be given a copy of that certificate together with a notice which gives further details of the notification requirements with which you must comply.
Finally, I today direct the clerk of Court to intimate your conviction on this indictment to Scottish Ministers in terms of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007.”
18 February 2021