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.  

Follow us if you wish to receive alerts as soon as statements are published. 

Once charges are spent, any statement in relation to them is removed and cannot be provided or acknowledged. Statements published before the launch of the website may be available on request. Please email

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.

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.

Read more about civil judgments.

HMA v Kevin Sands


Mar 8, 2022

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, Sheriff Kenneth Campbell sentenced Kevin Sands to nearly 4 years’ imprisonment after the offender was found guilty of a number of offences including assault, malicious damage and domestic abuse. The Sheriff also imposed a supervised release order for a further 12 months and put in place a non-harassment order for 25 years.


On sentencing, Sheriff Campbell made the following statement in Court:

“Kevin Sands, you were found guilty by the jury of a series of charges disclosing sustained and relentless domestic abuse of two women. The charge concerning one woman was aggravated by being committed while you were on bail, and the jury also convicted you of a separate breach of bail.

Your behaviour was callous, controlling and frequently violent. Both women spoke of occasions when you restricted their ability to breathe, and of occasions when you struck them so that they lost consciousness. Both spoke of the fear your behaviour provoked, but both also spoke of the way you so degraded them by routine abuse so as to normalise your behaviour.

That is a way of acting that the court must take a very serious view about.

I now have the social work report I asked for at the end of the trial. That report discloses no mitigating factors. In comparison with many people who come before the courts, you did not have significant adverse experiences as a child, and you appear to have fallen into offending at the point of becoming an adult and becoming involved with drugs. Nor do you have a positive pattern of work or other useful social activity.

It is a concern that the report also indicates that you consider that you have little or no responsibility for these offences. I also have regard to what is said in the report about the risk of further offending. I take account of that, and also of what Mr Henry said on your behalf.

Having regard first to the circumstances of the offences of which you have been convicted, and in particular charges 1 and 11; secondly to your history of offending; and thirdly having regard to the social work assessment both of your lack of acceptance of responsibility, and of the risk you present to female partners, I am satisfied that a custodial sentence is the only appropriate one.

I note that you were remanded in custody from 13 January 2020 – 9 April 2020 in respect of some of the charges, when those were previously before the court in the form of a matter which was subsequently rolled into the indictment which was before the jury. I also note that you were later remanded in custody on petition between 17 July 2020 and 29 October 2020.

That amounts to a total of 191 days. I take account of that in fixing sentence. In relation to charges 1, 7, and 9, I will impose a cumulo sentence of 23.5 months, which I have modified from 3 years to take account of time served on remand. In relation to charge 11, I will impose a sentence of 2 years. That sentence to run consecutively to the sentence on charges 1, 7 and 9. In relation to charge 12, I will admonish you. That is a total period of 47.5 months custody, which will be backdated to 21 February 2022.

I also consider that the public require a degree of protection when you come to be released from custody, and I will therefore impose a supervised release order for a period of 12months.

I turn to the question of a non-harassment order. Having regard to the evidence from both victims about the continuing effect of your behaviour on them, I am satisfied that a non-harassment order is necessary in respect of each of them. I also consider that those orders should last for a long period of time. In making those orders, I also have regard to the information placed before me by the Crown concerning posts on social media.

I will therefore make a non-harassment order relating to each for a period of 25 years. The orders will be in identical terms: You are not to approach or contact either of them, in person or by electronic means, whether directly or indirectly through another person; nor are you to post anything online or on social media about either of them, or inviting comment about either of them.”

8 March 2022