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 Jessie Hunter


Jan 10, 2024

At Dunoon Sheriff Court, Sheriff Nicola Patrick fined Jessie Hunter £2075 after the offender pled guilty to causing death by careless driving. She was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for life

On sentencing Sheriff Nicola Patrick made the following remarks in court:

"I have listened very carefully to all of the circumstances in this incredibly anxious and difficult case.  I have also had the benefit of detailed submissions from counsel on your behalf and a CJSWR.  I have considered the sentencing guidelines for such cases, which although technically not in force, are helpful in setting out the factors that must be taken into account.  

Nothing I can say in this case nor any sentence the court can pass can reflect the implications of what was ultimately a momentary lapse in the standard of your driving. It is clear from all of the information presented, including the victim impact statement from Mrs Docherty, that the consequences have been utterly devastating.  I accept the submission though that there is an imbalance in this case between culpability and harm. 

There are no aggravating features to your culpability such as speed or extreme carelessness.  You have an exemplary driving record and have never found yourself before a court in your entire life. It is very clear to me from all of the information that you are incredibly remorseful and you will carry the burden of the devastating consequences of this incident for the rest of your life, as will those affected.  You have also accepted full responsibility.  

I wish to state that the sentence I am passing in this case is in no way reflective of the tragic outcome for all of the families and loved ones impacted by this and I once again extend sincere condolences to those affected. The impact on Mrs Docherty cannot be overstated and she likewise will have to carry the burden of her loss. 

The circumstances of this case are such that the sentencing options are limited by a number of factors.  Taking everything into account you will be fined the sum of £2000, reduced from £3000 as the law requires to reflect the fact you tendered a plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity.  Albeit you have voluntarily surrendered your licence you will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for life. "

10 January 2024