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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
HMA v Lars Thor Pedersen
Jul 25, 2022
On sentencing, Lord Doherty said:
"Lars Pedersen, you pled guilty to the rape of a woman. The circumstances of the offence are extremely concerning. You encountered her when she was sitting alone near a canal. At the time she was very distressed, intoxicated and vulnerable. You saw the opportunity to rape her and you seized it.
The careful and detailed risk assessment report prepared by the assessor whom the court appointed - a consultant psychiatrist - opines that your being at liberty would present a high risk to the safety of the public at large.
On the basis of this offence and the other material which has been placed before me relating to you both before and after the commission of this offence, I am in no doubt that there is a likelihood that if you were to be at liberty you would seriously endanger the physical or psychological well-being of members of the public at large - and in particular of women - and that it is likely that you would continue to do so if you were released from prison after serving an appropriate determinate sentence. The requirements for the imposition of an order for lifelong restriction are made out. That is the sentence which I impose upon you.
The law requires me to set a minimum term of imprisonment - the punishment part of your sentence. That is the minimum period you must serve before the Life Prisoner Tribunal of the Parole Board could even consider your case should you wish to apply for release from prison.
In order to arrive at the punishment part I have to start by deciding what would have been an appropriate determinate sentence for the offence. In the whole circumstances, and taking account of your record of previous convictions, limited as it is, I consider a sentence of 8 years’ imprisonment would have been appropriate. From that starting point of 8 years I have to deduct the element which is attributable to the protection of the public. I deduct 1 year for that, taking the figure down to 7 years. I then have to take account of the early release rules. That means that the period of 7 years falls to be reduced to 3 years 6 months. I also require to take account of the fact that you have pled guilty. You first offered to tender the plea at a late stage in the proceedings - on 11 March 2022. At a continued preliminary hearing on 13 September 2021 a dedicated floating trial diet had been fixed for 24 June 2022 at Glasgow. Although the plea was offered late in the day, it was still more than 3 months before the trial diet. It had some utility and you are entitled to credit for that, so I shall reduce the 3 years 6 months to 3 years 2 months. That is the punishment part which I set for you.
Your sentence will be backdated to 24 May 2018 when you first appeared in court in connection with this offence.
Due to the very prolonged procedural history of this case you have in fact already been on remand for over 4 years - longer than the punishment part which I have imposed. That does not mean that you will now be released. As I have said, the punishment part is just the minimum time that you require to serve before the Life Prisoner Tribunal could even consider the possibility of recommending to the Scottish Ministers that you be released. Whether or not you should be released in the future will be for the Tribunal to recommend and for the Scottish Ministers to decide if an application for that is made. You would only be released if it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public from the risk of serious harm that you continue to be confined in prison.
You will be subject to the notification requirements of Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for the remainder of your life."