Farquhar v HM Advocate

Sentencing – Embezzlement – 70-year-old first offender. High Court of Justiciary: Allowing an appeal against sentence by a 70-year-old first offender who pled guilty to embezzling £72,155 over 8 years whilst acting as the treasurer of a church, and who was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment, discounted from 2 years for her early plea of guilty, the court held that, taking account of the whole circumstances of the appellant's case, including the information provided in the Criminal Justice Social Work report, her age, her previous lengthy good character and her physical condition, the test provided for by s 204(2) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 in relation to first offenders had not been met; the court therefore quashed the sentence of imprisonment and imposed a fine of £15,000 in its place.

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