Liam Stewart admitted to the supply of ecstasy between March and August 2019. He was then sentenced at Livingston Sheriff Court to a 45-month custodial sentence. 
Stewart supplied a gram of ecstasy to a 16 year old school girl who then shared the drug with her friend, aged 15. The 15-year-old became unwell and suffered a cardiac arrest. This resulted in her death despite medical attempts to save her. 
Police carried out a search of Stewart’s bedroom and found ecstasy worth £250. At sentencing the sheriff stated:  “You are to be regarded as a ruthless drug dealer, selling a potentially lethal product for personal gain.”
Agents for Stewart appealed the sentence on the basis that it was excessive. 
The appeal was heard by Lord Doherty and Lord Matthews at the Appeal court in Edinburgh. Lord Doherty stated: “We are in no doubt that the sentence which the sheriff imposed was excessive.”
He said: “We have the strong impression that the sheriff here was heavily influenced by the tragic and fatal consequences of the consumption of ecstasy which the appellant had supplied (to the other girl). The sheriff seems to have sentenced the appellant for something which did not form part of the libel to which he had pled guilty,”
He continued: “The appellant was a drug user who had supplied to his peer group as a means of funding his own drug use. He was not an adult dealer preying on young people and children. The quantities of drugs supplied and the money which he made were modest and low level.”
The Judge acknowledged the fact that Stewart was remorseful, and his mental health had suffered as a result. The Judge concluded by stating: we are satisfied that the balance ought to come down in favour of a non-custodial disposal.”
A community payback order was imposed and Stewart was ordered to carry out unpaid work.