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.
For more information about how judges decide sentences; what sentences are available; and matters such as temporary release, see the independent Scottish Sentencing Council website.
Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.
HMA v Christopher Robertson
Apr 6, 2021
On sentencing, Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:
“You have been convicted after trial of the crime of rape. Your victim is a young woman who is the daughter of a friend of yours. She and her younger sister regarded you as an uncle figure – somebody who would always be there for them.
On the night in question the complainer had been out at a nightclub with friends. She had gone on with one of her friends in a taxi to a party but when they got there changed her mind and decided to go home. She started walking and looking for a taxi but was unable to find one.
Meanwhile you had been out at a pub with friends and drunk a very considerable amount of alcohol. You made contact with the complainer over social media while she was trying to find a taxi and offered to pick her up. You did so and invited her back to your house where you both consumed 2 or 3 bottles of beer. When she said that she was tired and needed to go home you suggested that she sleep in your bed while you slept on the settee and you would then run her home in the morning. She accepted the invitation and lay down on top of your bed and went to sleep.
She was then awoken by you lying on top of her penetrating her vagina with your fingers and attempting, and eventually succeeding, in penetrating her vagina with your penis. After you ejaculated you then fell asleep. She made her way out of the house.
You continue to deny your guilt and suggest that the complainer instigated sex. It is not for me to comment on the jury’s verdict but having seen your victim give evidence and listened to the witnesses who spoke to her extreme distress both on the phone immediately after she left your house and a short while later at her grandparent’s house there is little doubt which version of events is to be preferred.
Your continued denial does you no favours. It is clear to me that the victim trusted you as a friend of her parent and someone who would look out for her. You abused that trust. I have no doubt that the effects of your offence will live with your victim for some time to come.
I have listened carefully to all that has been said on your behalf. I take this to have been an opportunistic offence and I do not consider that the criteria for an extended sentence is established. Although you deny having a problem with alcohol, having regard to the amount that you drank that night and the answers to the social workers who compiled the report it is clear to me that it is an issue that you will have to address. You have good work record. There are no other convictions libelled against you and the convictions referred to in the report are of no moment and not relevant to sentence.
As a result of your conviction and the sentence that I am about to impose on you, you are subject to the notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.
The clerk of court will serve upon you a notice confirming those requirements with which you must comply.
You will go to prison for five years. The sentence is backdated to 5 March 2021.”