SENTENCING STATEMENTS

 

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.

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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.

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HMA v Dylan Rigby

 

Oct 28, 2021

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lady Carmichael sentenced Dylan Rigby to an extended sentence of 10 years after the offender pled guilty to attempted murder. The custodial period is set at 7 years with 3 years in the community on licence under certain conditions.

 

On sentencing, Lady Carmichael made the following statement in Court:

"You pled guilty to a prolonged and exceptionally violent attack on another young man and attempting to murder him.    You held him hostage. Police were able to bring the incident to an end only by using distraction explosive devices and then bringing you under control at gunpoint.

The criminal justice social work report offers little by way of insight or explanation as to why you behaved in the way that you did, other than that you allege that your victim said something derogatory about your sister. I am not in a position to determine whether that is true. It is irrelevant, given the extremely violent conduct which you have admitted. I have a report from Dr Louise Tansey which provides some further information about your background.

In assessing your culpability, I need to take into account your age and maturity at the time of the offending. You are still only 20 years of age, and you were 19 when you committed this offence. I am prepared to regard your attitude when you spoke to the social worker as reflecting immaturity. I take into account that there is information that you required some support from mental health services during your childhood.

You already have a record of offending which includes violent offending.  

The offending on this indictment is so serious that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.

While your immaturity may mitigate your culpability to some extent, it is also a feature that means that you continue to pose a risk of serious harm to the public. That is because you do not seem to understand how serious the offence was, how serious the consequences were for your victim, or the need to avoid similar violent offending in the future. It is clear that in the interests of your own rehabilitation, and the protection of the public in future, you will have to do a great deal of work to come to understand why you behaved in the way that you did, and to reduce the risk that you might act in a similar way again. A substantial sentence is necessary if you are to have that opportunity.

The ordinary determinate sentence that this crime would attract, having regard to all of these matters, is one of 10 years detention. I discount that to reflect your plea of guilty, which has avoided the need for preliminary hearings and a trial.    The first plea you offered, in June 2021, was not acceptable to the Crown, but an acceptable plea was agreed about a month later. In those circumstances I would discount a determinate sentence of 10 years to one of 7 years. 

I am satisfied that the period you would ordinarily spend on licence with a determinate sentence of 7 years is insufficient to protect the public from the risk of serious harm. Your record of offending demonstrates escalating violence. The offence on this indictment caused serious and enduring harm, and had the potential to endanger life. I am therefore imposing an extended sentence of ten years, with a custodial period of 7 years detention, and an extended licence period of 3 years.

The sentence will be backdated to 22 March 2021."

28 October 2021