The High Court in Edinburgh has refused the Crown’s appeal against sentence for a man who was not imposed with a prison sentence for domestic abuse offences. CJB was instead given a restriction of liberty order and a community payback order with supervision and hours of unpaid work.

The respondent pled guilty to the charges in early 2019 which included assaults on his wife and two children. The charges included serious assaults to injury and repeated periods of domestic abuse. The original sheriff stated the conduct was ‘’frequent abusive behaviour” The Crown argued that the sentence given by the sheriff was very lenient and appealed the decision, however the appeal court did not agree.

The High Court stated that the sheriff had considered the appropriate guidelines. However, it was argued by the Crown that the sentence did not take into consideration the gravity of the offences and the sheriff looked too much into the respondent’s personal circumstances, as he was in a new stable and supportive relationship.

However, delivering the court’s opinion, Lord Justice General said: “There can be little doubt that the repeated assaults, which the respondent perpetrated on his wife and two daughters over a prolonged period of time, could have attracted a significant custodial disposal. This is illustrated by several of the cases cited by the advocate depute. However, each case depends upon its particular facts and circumstances.” Lord Carloway continued: “It is clear from the sheriff’s careful and detailed report that she did take all relevant factors into account including, particularly, the seriousness of the offences, the impact on the complainers and the circumstances of the respondent.” The crowns appeal was therefore refused.