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 Andrew Ness
Jan 10, 2023
On sentencing Lady Drummond made the following statement in court:
"You pled guilty at a preliminary hearing to three charges on this indictment in relation to two children.
You committed sexual offences against the first child over a period of 6 years. Some of that took place when she was awake and aware of it. You committed further offences when she was asleep and unresponsive due to the consumption of intoxicants. That came to light subsequently because you made video recordings of that abuse which were discovered by police. These offences included penetration, causing her to be present during sexual activity, causing her to masturbate you and to view pornography.
You also committed sexual offences against another child over a period of 4 years. Those offences included penetration and causing her to participate in sexual activity when she was awake and aware of it. You caused her to watch a video of you sexually abusing another child. You also committed sexual offences against her when she was asleep and unresponsive due to the consumption of intoxicants. Those included raping her.
Police recovered many videos and still images of your sexual offending. 13 of these videos and 4 still images related to the first child and were filmed by you between June 2016 and July 2017. The majority of these videos were category A. The still images were categories B and C.
20 of these videos related to the second child and were created between 2019 and 2020. Half of these were category A and the other half category C. There were 6 still images from 2020 of category C.
In addition to this offending against these two children you took or permitted to be taken indecent images of other children from 2017 to 2020. There were a total of 14 still images and 4 videos. 3 videos are category A, 3 still images and 1 video category B and the remaining still images category C.
I have read the victim impact statement. Your offending has had a profound emotional and psychological impact.
You are 44 years old. You have one previous conviction for a drugs offence which resulted in imprisonment for 16 months.
I take into account the content of the criminal justice and social work report and all that was said on your behalf today. You have, at least recently, shown empathy towards the complainers and accepted responsibility. You have been in employment previously and a stable relationship. You are assessed as a medium risk on the dynamic risk assessment of sexual reconviction. The assessment concludes that if you have unsupervised access to young female children the risk to them would be high.
Because of the gravity of the crimes which you have committed a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal in your case.
In relation to charges 1 and 5 in cumulo I impose a sentence of 10 years. However, because of the guilty plea, this will be reduced to 7 years 6 months.
In relation to charge 9, I impose a concurrent sentence of 18 months reduced from 24 months because of the stage you plead guilty.
Your sentence will be backdated to 4 March 2022 when you were first remanded in custody.
You will remain subject to the notification requirements applicable to sex offenders for an indefinite period, and your name will be added to the lists of persons deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups."
10 January 2023