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 Scott Kelly
Oct 22, 2021
On sentencing Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:
"You have been convicted of rape. In the course of consensual sexual activity, for some unexplained reason you grabbed the complainer’s neck and compressed it to the point that she could not breathe. She was crying. She fought to try and get you off her but you continued to penetrate her, by this time clearly without her consent.
Together they paint a picture of a pleasant well-mannered, committed and respectful young man, who had and, I hope in future, has the potential to be a good and useful member of society. You have no previous convictions. You come from a supportive family and it is a tragedy that you find yourself in the High Court as a convicted rapist. I take all of that into account.
Here, although it is accepted that you were at the time the complainer’s partner it was a very much on/off relationship. Indeed there had been a gap of 6 weeks immediately prior to the offence. In those circumstances I shall limit the period of time in prison which is attributable to aggravation.