Mr Sutherland has his appeal at the UK Supreme Court rejected. This case revolved around the legality of ‘paedophile hunter’ groups. In Mr Sutherland’s case an adult who was part of a paedophile hunter group sends him a message posing as a 13-year-old child. Mr Sutherland replied and was convicted of attempting to communicate indecently with an older child, along with other sexual offences, in August 2018. 

Mr Sutherland believe the person he was communicating with was 13. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment. Mr Sutherland has a previous conviction for a sexual offence. The appellant argued that the conviction was in breach of his article 8 Human Rights. Lord Sales handed down the judgment which was unanimous with the other Supreme Court judges.

The case was eagerly anticipated as the UK’s highest court decided on the legality of vigilante groups. Gordan Jackson QC stated, “the police are aware that there a number of hunter organisations operating in Scotland and the UK and evidence submitted from these organisations has led to a number of criminal investigations and convictions.” The QC for Mr Sutherland continued that there was is “disquiet” about the work of such groups. After the decision is its clear such prosecutions can continue in Scotland.