Leathem v HM Advocate

Sentencing – Punishment part – Murder. High Court of Justiciary: Allowing an appeal against sentence by an appellant who was sentenced to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 27 years, reduced from 30 years to reflect his plea of guilty, for the murder of a 15-year-old girl, and to a concurrent period of 6 years' imprisonment for attempting to defeat the ends of justice, the court held that the length of the punishment part selected was inconsistent with current sentencing practice and excessive, and the concurrent sentence of 6 years and resultant enhancement of the punishment part by a period of 3 years, was also excessive, although the utilitarian value of the guilty plea merited no more than a discount of 3 years: the court quashed the punishment part of 27 years and substituted a period of 23 years.

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