HC Deb 27 November 1995 vol 267 cc478-9W
Dr. Godman

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many occasions in each of the past four years the Lord Advocate has appealed a sentence passed on conviction on indictment which he is considered to be(a) unduly lenient and (b) wrong in law; of such appeals, how many led to the imposition of heavier sentences and how many were found to be wrong in law; and if he will make a statement. [1086]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

In terms of section 228A(a) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 the Lord Advocate was given the power to appeal against a sentence imposed in respect of an indictment on the ground that it is considered by him to be unduly lenient. This provision came into force on 1 October 1993. To date the power has been exercised as shown in the table.

There have been no appeals by the Lord Advocate thus far in terms of section 228A(b) on a point of law.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

There were four staff in the Forfar procurator fiscal's office between 1991 and 1993, and from 1994 to date there have been three. There are five staff in the procurator fiscal's office in Arbroath. There has been no change in the staffing level there in the last five years. The holder of the office of procurator fiscal, Arbroath, transferred to the procurator fiscal's office in Glasgow on 23 November 1995, and the procurator fiscal, Dundee, has been appointed procurator fiscal, Arbroath,ad interim.

The Lord Advocate is presently giving consideration to the future arrangements for staffing the Arbroath and Forfar offices. In the event that he proposes any change from previous arrangements which would have significant implications, he will consult relevant interests.

Mr. Welsh

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the level of business undertaken by the procurator fiscal service in Arbroath in each of the past five years. [2235]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The following table shows the number of reports received by the procurator fiscal from the police and other reporting agencies for the years 1990 to 1995, and gives details of court proceedings.

Procurator fiscal's office, Arbroath
Total reports received Solemn Pleas Courts trials Summary pleas Courts trials
1990–91 3,076 13 15 1,520 179
1991–92 3,521 22 12 1,692 185
1992–93 3,767 16 15 1,439 198
1993–94 2,953 19 8 1,545 161
1994–95 3,133 15 6 1,184 125