PF v Ross Pollock-Smith 2019

Mr Pollock-Smith who was subject to bail conditions after pleading guilty to a of a breach of the peace, section 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, not to contact his former partner has had his appeal against his special bail conditions imposed dismissed. The appeal went to the High Court of Justiciary where it was confirmed that the special condition of bail was lawful and the appeal was refused. The charge had narrated that the accused was uttering threatening remarks to the police.

The offence also was racially aggravated and committed while the accused was already on bail. Sentence was deferred on this matter on a number of occasions due a number of outstanding matters the appellant had. The case eventually called 9 months after the appellant pled guilty and sentenced was deferred for good behaviour with a condition in place on bail that Mr Pollock-Smith do not contact or approach Ms M, his former partner. This was due to a narration in the Social Work report that he continued to be very negative about her and her mother and was at high risk of reoffending. The appellant was imprisoned prior to this period. The rationale by the Sheriff behind this was to reduce the risk of the appellant reoffending. The offence in question, the statutory breach of the peace, did not relate in any way to Ms M therefore the decision was appealed. The appeal went first to the Sheriff Appeal court which was refused on the basis that it was competent as the test for the for a special condition was that it was “necessary to secure…that the standard conditions are observed.”

The case then was heard at the High Court in Edinburgh. The appellant argued the condition was not necessary. However, the High Court did not agree. Lord Justice General at the High Court of Justiciary stated: “The sheriff has attempted to address the appellant’s problems, which, for a man of his age, are of relatively recent origin and are alcohol-related. The sheriff has done this by trying to ensure that, post-release, the appellant keeps out of trouble by making sure that he is subject to bail conditions pending final disposal of the case. The special condition selected is fully merited given the information in the CJSWR. There is a rational connection between the condition and the need to prevent further offending. The condition is not disproportionate.” The appeal was therefore refused and the special conditions of bail remain in place until the good behaviour period elapses.