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HMA v Shaun Munro


May 12, 2022

At the High Court at Edinburgh today, Lord Matthews sentenced Shaun Munro to 4 years imprisonment after the offender pled guilty to causing death by dangerous driving while under the influence of alcohol.

On sentencing, Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:

"You pled guilty to the very serious offence of causing the death of Katrina Smith by driving dangerously and while under the influence of alcohol.

The exact amount you had consumed cannot be known but the collision occurred shortly before six o’clock in the morning and when the blood sample was taken reasonably soon after that you were still over the limit.

Mrs Smith was on her way to a car boot sale and no doubt was looking forward to an enjoyable day before her life was cruelly taken from her by your actions.

The circumstances were fully set out in the agreed narrative which was read on the last occasion you appeared before me. The only inference to be drawn is that the alcohol you consumed was the real cause of the fact that you did not properly negotiate a left hand bend and instead drove onto the wrong side of the road directly into the path of Mrs Smith’s vehicle.

She was a much loved mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was very active and a keen traveller and her loss is keenly felt as can be seen from reading the heart-rending Victim Impact Statements which have been provided. It is a measure of the way she brought up her family that they were able to write the letter which I have seen and which they sent you. I do not have their permission to read it aloud but they make it plain that they feel no hatred or anger and want you to learn from what you did. I am sure that Mrs Smith is very proud of them

No sentence I can impose can make up for her loss but I have to try to pass a sentence which is fair and proportionate.

I note that you are a young man with no previous convictions libelled against you.  That is often the way of it in cases such as this. There is a minor episode of careless driving many years in the past which was not libelled and which you yourself disclosed, which is to your credit, but it is of no consequence in the circumstances.

You were yourself seriously injured albeit entirely through your own fault and you have attempted suicide because of what you did.

I have taken account of all the circumstances of the case, the contents of the report, your personal circumstances, the effects on you, your expressions of remorse and everything said on your behalf. In order to assist me as a cross-check I have had regard to the Definitive Guideline for England and Wales. I assess you as falling somewhere between levels 1 and 2 given the level of intoxication.

I have decided that the appropriate sentence after trial would have been imprisonment for 6 years but in view of your early plea that will be reduced to 4 years to run from today.

You will in addition be disqualified from driving for a period of 7 years, increased from 5 to account for your prison sentence and until you pass the extended test of competence to drive. The original figure would have been 8 but for your plea."