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Scottish Conservatives call for the Scottish Law Commission to review the test of ‘undue leniency’

Liam Kerr.
Liam Kerr.

The Scottish Conservatives have called for the Scottish Law Commission to review the test of ‘undue leniency’.

In December, Christopher Daniel was convicted of sexually assaulting a child on a number of occasions.

Despite this conviction he was granted an absolute discharge and received no punishment and was not put on the sex offenders register.

In a letter to Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary, the Lord Advocate states that the Crown Office could not continue an appeal against this sentence because it was not ‘unduly lenient’.


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In a Scottish Parliamentary debate today on sentencing guidelines, the Tories have raised concerns that this test may restrict the ability of the crown to challenge concerning sentences and called for the test of ‘undue leniency’ to be reviewed by the commission.

Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary said: “Too often victims are being dismally let down by soft touch justice.

“The Crown Office could not appeal the sentence against Christopher Daniel because it did not meet the legal test of ‘undue leniency’.

“Therefore the Scottish Law Commission, whose remit is to recommend reforms to Scots law, should review this test.

“It is crucial that victims understand and have faith in our system – and that our justice system puts victims first.

“Sentencing guidelines will not alter this crucial test, or ensure this terrible situation does not reoccur; the test of ‘undue leniency’ must be reviewed.”

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