Armstrong v Procurator Fiscal, Livingston

Sentencing – Sentence discounting – Discount for guilty plea. Sheriff Appeal Court: Allowing an appeal by an appellant who was sentenced to 7 months' imprisonment in respect of each of two charges of attempting to obtain money by fraud from householders following pleas of guilty tendered after his apprehension on a non-appearance warrant, the court held that the sheriff had erred by failing to apply any discount, as the utilitarian value of the plea had been reduced by the appellant's failure to appear but it was not completely diluted when no trial diet had to be postponed or discharged and no witnesses had to be countermanded: had the plea been tendered at the earliest opportunity a discount of one third was likely to have been appropriate; in the circumstances of this case that should be reduced to one fifth.

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