The Appeal Court of the High Court of Justiciary has upheld a decision to impose a Lifelong Restriction of Liberty Order. The appellant was convicted of eleven charges against two former partners. The charges involved abduction, serious assault, threatening and abusive behaviour and stalking. 
The first complainer described the appellant’s behaviour as increasingly violent which involved serious assault, permanent disfigurement, and danger to life. The second complainer described the appellant as verbally and physically abusive. In considering the appellant’s background it was determined that he from birth he had been placed on the Child Protection Register. At the age of 11 he was detained for assaulting his adopted mother and younger brother. He was then placed into the care system where further issues arose. The appellant had 13 previous convictions. 
Two Risk Assessment Reports were available to the sentencing judge. The reports were produced by two different psychologists, Ms Munro and Ms Harris. The reports differed in their conclusions as to the risk posed by the appellant. The Judge agreed with the report produced by Ms Munro which concluded that the appellant was high risk and was not manageable within the community. As a result, the Judge imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction. 
The appellant submitted that the Judge had incorrectly disregarded aspects of Ms Harris’ report. In her report Ms Harris stated that the appellant posed medium risk and subsequently misdirected himself on the evidence. The sentencing just stated that Ms Harris’ report was “the product of a comparatively superficial investigation which appeared to rely significantly on the accounts given or opinions presented by the appellant”.
In delivering the opinion of the court, Lady Dorrian in discussing Ms Munro’s report stated: “Mrs Munro, for her first report, conducted 17 hours of interview with the appellant and consulted a vast array of other material relevant to the assessment of risk. She supplemented her examination of school, social work and prison records with interviews of individuals, who could speak to those records, conducting interviews with a wide range of individuals. In particular she consulted the appellant’s discipline record in prison, and spoke to prison officers and mental health workers, both for her initial report and her supplementary one.”
In considering the report produced by Ms Harris she said: “[Ms Harris] was heavily dependent on written records, generally without confirming the detail with those who were able to speak to the records. She took no account – and seems to have made no inquiry as to – his behaviour when in custody. Notwithstanding accepted best practice to use multiple sources of information for each area being assessed, she relied excessively on self-reporting by the appellant without cross-checking with more objective sources.”
She continued: “Any evidence for motivation substantially rests on the appellant’s own statements to Ms Harris, and some limited, if overly optimistic expressions of hope by his mother, who stated that she believed he had calmed down considerably since childhood, and can be more considered in his approach. Ms Harris seems to have accepted this at face value. How it squares with current, or other more recent, offending is left unexplained.”
In concluding Lady Dorrian stated: “Given that the nature, extent and ongoing consequences of the psychopathic traits was an issue upon which the experts were split, on the evidence we have narrated the sentencing judge was clearly entitled to prefer the evidence of Mrs. Munro. He was entitled to accept on the evidence that the appellant lacked remorse, was superficially charming, was manipulative, callous, lied pathologically, was criminally versatile, sexually promiscuous, had poor behavioural controls and a parasitic lifestyle with a history of early behavioural problems.”
As a result, the appeal was refused.