Herd v HM Advocate

Sentencing – Assault – Level of discount afforded for plea of guilty. High Court of Justiciary: Allowing an appeal by an appellant who pled guilty at a trial diet to a charge of assault under deletion of certain words, and who challenged the level of sentence discount the sheriff afforded in light of the guilty plea, namely around 10% on a headline sentence of 13 months' imprisonment, the court held that the sheriff misdirected himself in the exercise of his discretion by declining to take account of the history of discussions between the appellant's agents and the Crown, which showed that three months before the trial diet the appellant offered to plead guilty in terms almost identical to the plea eventually accepted: in determining the matter of discount for itself the court allowed a discount of 25%.

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