RSS Feed

Sentencing Statements

Exchequer SignClick to enlarge image

In cases where there is public interest or where the sentence may be complicated or controversial, the judge may decide to make the sentencing statement more widely available. You can read the judge’s full statement here once sentence has been passed.

We also issue tweets to alert our followers as soon as statements are published. Follow Us.  

For more information about how judges decide sentences and what sentences are available to them, see the Scottish Sentencing Council website.

Click here if you would like information about victims of crimes and sentencing.


At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Jones sentenced David Blair Wilson to four years imprisonment after he was found guilty of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs and attempting to take concealed items into HMP Saughton on 6 October 2011.

17 May 2013

On sentencing Lord Jones made the following statement in court:

“You have been convicted by the jury on one charge of attempting to take a folder containing a package in which were concealed 3 mobile telephones, 3 SIM cards, 2 phone chargers and 2 earphones with you into HMP Saughton when visiting prisoner Lee Brown, in your capacity as a solicitor, in contravention of certain provisions of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989 as amended;

You have also been convicted by the jury on three charges of being concerned in the supplying of controlled drugs to another and in particular to Lee Brown in contravention of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

In the first of these charges, the drug involved was cannabis resin, in the second it was diazepam, and in the third three drugs were involved, namely Drostanolone Propionate, Testosterone Propionate, and Trenbolone Acetate.

Cannabis resin is a class B drug and the others are all class C drugs.

The jury heard unchallenged evidence that the potential prison value of the cannabis resin recovered was £4,000.  If the diazepam tablets recovered were sold singly, they could fetch, in total, £2,826.  Both drugs were intended for onward supply within the prison. The misuse of drugs in prison is a well-recognised problem, to which you were intent on contributing. You knew that, as a criminal defence solicitor visiting clients in prison, you were in a privileged and trusted position. You cynically exploited the privilege that you enjoyed and abused the trust that had been placed in you by participating in what was, in my view, a carefully planned supply operation.

The author of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report records that you continue to deny any involvement.  The account that you have given to her of the nature of your association with Lee Brown, however, is essentially the same account that you gave in evidence and which the jury rejected.

I note that you expect to receive a custodial sentence. I am required by statute not to impose a custodial sentence unless I am satisfied that no other disposal is appropriate.  Having regard to the features of this case which I have mentioned, I have concluded that no sentence other than a sentence of imprisonment is appropriate. The court has a responsibility to mark the gravity of your offences.

In fixing the length of the sentence, I am conscious that you are a first offender and that your conviction of these offences brings your career as a lawyer to an end. That will have financial consequences for you, which you have already begun to experience. I am also aware that you suffer from ill health, the details of which are recorded in the Criminal Justice Social Work Report and in the letters from Dr Frapan, Professor Court-Brown, Dr Murdoch and Dr Wilson.

Whilst I take these matters into account in considering sentence, it has to be recognised that you chose to commit these offences. You did so with your eyes open, knowing what the risks were and what the consequences would be if you were caught.

I have listened carefully to and taken into account everything that Mrs Duff has said on your behalf, and I have had the opportunity to read her plea in mitigation. I take into consideration that no class A drug was involved.  I have read the letter from the Red Cross shop.

In all the circumstances of this case, I impose a cumulo sentence of four years’ imprisonment, to run from today’s date.”