Life sentence for Woodburn killer unlikely


The family of Shaun Woodburn will meet Crown Office lawyers today to talk about the sentence for the male teenager who punched the ex-footballer, resulting in his death.

A petition,”Justice for Shaun“, has been created in an attempt to win a longer sentence for the killer, who has been sentenced to four years behind bars. The petition has been signed by more than 63,000 people. His father Kevin created the campaign on the petition website after the death of his son.

Edinburgh Napier University Law lecturer Kenneth Dale-Risk thinks that the campaign can turn the verdict: “It is absolutely possible for the Crown, the prosecution to return to Court if they consider that the sentence that was handed out was too lenient. It happens very regularly. So, yes, the petition by the father of the dead man could possibly lead to the Crown making such an application.”

Although Dale-Risk thinks that the Crown will go for it because of the public interest, he does not think that the sentenced teenager will face a life sentence: “Strictly speaking, culpable homicide could attract a life sentence. It is possible for that sentence to be awarded. I do not think that it is conceivable, even if the Appeal Court decide that the sentence was too lenient, that anything like that would be awarded. I would be surprised if it is increased at all.”

MSP Ben Macpherson is one of the thousands who support the petition. He tweeted that the sentence which was given was “too lenient”.

Macpherson said: “I have also signed the petition and would encourage others to do so too.” The MSP attached his copies of letters he wrote to the Crown Office & Procurator fiscal service and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice.

Shaun Woodburn died this year from a head injury. A 17-year-old teenager had punched him on New Year’s Eve 2016 after disturbances outside Gladstone’s Bar. The attack on Woodburn was not the only one from teenager in this night. He admitted to assaulting five other people during the night.

The High Court in Glasgow sentenced the teenager for four years. Furthermore, the 17-year-old will be supervised after his release for another 18 months.

The judge was serious after the verdict and told him: “Shaun Woodburn’s family will never be the same again – perhaps most poignantly a young daughter who has been deprived of her father. You have to live the rest of your life with the knowledge of this young man’s death.”