The case of Sean Hogg has evoked a significant amount of controversy. Sean Hogg was convicted by a jury of raping a 13 year old girl. The attacks took place in Dalkeith County Park on a number of occasions between March and June 2018.

In sentencing Hogg the judge imposed a community payback order with 270 hours of unpaid work and three years supervision. The sentence has been criticised as being ‘unduly lenient’.

The accused is under the age of 25 and new guidelines in Scotland have been introduced for sentencing those under that age. The guidelines are aimed at reducing reoffending by focusing on rehabilitation as opposed to punishment. It is clear from the guidelines that each case much be considered individually.

In sentencing Hogg, Lord Lake stated: “This offence, if committed by an adult over 25, you attract a sentence of four or five years. I don’t consider that appropriate and don’t intend to send you to prison. You are a first offender with no previous history of prison – you are 21 and were 17 at the time. Prison does not lead me to believe this will contribute to your rehabilitation.”

Hogg’s victim has spoken out about the impact which both the rape and the sentence imposed has had upon her. She explained that she suffers from PTSD and panic attacks. She explained that she cannot leave her house without one of her grandparents. She has suffered from anxiety and nightmares.

It is now understood that Hogg has lodged intimation of his intention to appeal against his conviction. The Crown Office now have to consider whether there are grounds for appealing the sentence.