An appeal made by the Parole Board against a Lord Ordinary’s decision that acted unlawfully as it refused to direct the release of a prisoner who was convicted of murder. The accused was convicted of murder as a teenager but also breached his licence conditions on previous releases. 

David Dolan was sentenced to detention without a limit of time and 10 years of imprisonment after he committed a murder while on bail. The petitioner’s counsel argued that the Lord Ordinary was correct to claim that the Tribunals decision was unlawfully made. 

The petitioner was firstly released from custody in 2010 however returned after breaching his licence conditions. Thereafter he was also released in 2019 but returned custody due to illicit drugs and breach of electronic monitoring conditions. 

The Tribunal in 2022 heard that the petitioner had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. As a result of this it was concluded that the petitioner presented a high level of risk as his social worker stated that his lack of proper engagement with the supervision progress simply increased his risk of reoffending.

The Tribunal noted that the petitioners release would simply pose a material risk of harm to the public.

Lord Turnball expressed to the Court that “the submission that the 6 September Tribunal failed to give consideration to the consequences of the petitioner of its decision has no force”. Therefore he concluded that the Court rejects both of the principal submissions on behalf of the petitioner. 

The reason for this was down to the extent of the inadequate reasons as it was expressed the informed reader would have no issues in understanding why the board came to the decision that the statutory test was simply not met.