Attending Court

Parliament HallClick to enlarge image

Some people, such as judges, lawyers, police officers and journalists, are usually quite familiar with the courts and court proceedings. But others might be worried at the prospect of going to court.

All courts must meet certain standards and provide appropriate facilities. For instance, witnesses for the prosecution and defence will be kept apart in separate witness areas. Also, understanding will be shown to jurors who may be apprehensive about jury service. Victims, including bereaved next of kin, will be treated with compassion and respect.

Courts vary depending on the types of cases they hear. The most serious and complex cases are heard in the Court of Session in Edinburgh and the High Court of Justiciary, which sits in cities and larger towns around Scotland. The majority of cases are dealt with in the country’s 39 Sheriff Courts. Less serious criminal matters are heard in Justice of the Peace Courts. There are differences in the procedures followed in civil and criminal court hearings. Sometimes the layout of the courtrooms is also different.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is committed to treating all court users in the same professional manner and provides additional information here.

If you want to raise or defend an action, apply for a divorce or have a query about a will there is some helpful advice available on the SCTS website, by clicking Taking Action on their home page.

 For further information on attending court as a witness, giving evidence, paying fines and jury service, please visit the website.

HMA v Kufre Uwem

At the High Court in Glasgow today 26 March 2018, Lord Arthurson sentenced Kufre Uwem to seven years and six months imprisonment after the accused was convicted of one charge of rape and a charge of assault with intent to rape. On sentencing Lord Arthurson made the following statement in court:

“On 26 February 2018 at Aberdeen High Court you were convicted of extremely serious sexual offending against two women.

"Your first victim was an 18-year-old first year university student who had met you by chance in Aberdeen city centre on the evening of 17 October 2012. That night you took her to your flat where you assaulted her and raped her.

“In a detailed victim impact statement she has described the ‘monumental impact’ which your crime had on her life for a period of years. You subjected your second victim, on 30 October 2016, again in Aberdeen, to a degrading penetrative sexual assault to injury with intent to rape, in her own flat.

“You had no criminal convictions prior to these offences. Your two post-offence convictions are of a relatively minor and non-analagous nature and I will treat you today as a first offender. The criminal justice social work report prepared for this sentencing hearing makes plain that you accept no level of responsibility for your crimes.

“I have listened carefully to the submissions advanced in mitigation this morning by your counsel, and take into account everything that has been said on your behalf in imposing sentence upon you. On any view, the consequences of this conviction for your personal, family and working life are truly catastrophic.

“In the whole circumstances before the court, I have concluded that your criminal conduct represents violent and predatory sexual offending which by its gravity merits the imposition of a very substantial period of imprisonment. In the event that I had elected to sentence on these charges separately, I would have imposed custodial terms of six years on charge one and four years on charge two respectively. On the basis that, notwithstanding the four year gap in time between these crimes, your offending can be viewed as a single course of criminal conduct, and having regard to the requirement to impose an overall sentence which is proportionate, I now impose an in cumulo sentence of seven years and six months imprisonment. This will be backdated to 26 February 2018, being the date of your initial remand in custody in respect of this indictment.

“Finally, you will now be subject to the notification requirements of Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period”.

Sentencing Statements

HMA v Dylan Walker

Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

HMA v Jagtar Singh

Thursday, 13 September, 2018

HMA v William Wright

Tuesday, 11 September, 2018

HMA v Neil Addison

Monday, 10 September, 2018

HMA v Paul McCandish

Monday, 10 September, 2018