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Judicial Review of John Paton

Judicial Review of John Paton

Mr Paton, a short term prisoner, had his petition against a decision to refuse early release under a curfew rejected. Mr Paton brought a judicial review against the Government and this was heard in the Outer House. Mr Paton was due to serve a 12 month prison sentence for assault to injury as a result of a weapon.
As the offence related to violence and possession of a weapon in a public place there was presumptions against Mr Paton being granted early release under guidance normally referred to when considering a Home Detention Curfew (HDC) under the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993. However, the petitioner argued against this presumption stating that directly prior to his time in custody he has a curfew from 7am to 8pm that operated without incident for over one year.
The petitioner appealed and this was specifically in relation to the success of the previous curfew period, however this was refused. Lord Ericht, in relation to the Judicial review, stated that it would not be appropriate for him to reverse the original decisions stating: “The (original) decision maker came to grips with the petitioner’s point about the trouble free curfew. He refers to the appeal as being “very comprehensive” and that is clearly a reference to the detailed handwritten paragraph in the box on the first page of the appeal form, which includes the point about the trouble free curfew.”

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