Family's anger over prosecutors decision

5 December 2017, 11:23 | Updated: 5 December 2017, 11:33

Shaun Woodburn

The family Shaun Woodburn have expressed anger over a decision not to appeal his killer's sentence.

The family of a young father killed on New Year's Day have voiced their anger after prosecutors ruled there would be no appeal against the killer's sentence.

Prosecutors said the four-year sentence was not "unduly lenient" and will not challenge it.

Former junior footballer Shaun Woodburn, 30, was found with serious injuries in Great Junction Street in the Leith area of Edinburgh at about 2am on January 1 and died later that day.

His 17-year-old killer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to four years detention at the High Court in Glasgow after being found guilty of culpable homicide.

He will also be supervised for a further 18 months after his release.

The 17-year-old has lodged notice of intention to appeal against his conviction.

Mr Woodburn's family launched a Justice for Shaun petition calling for an appeal against the sentence, which has been signed by more than 66,000 people.

However, prosecutors said there will be no appeal.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The Crown indicted the accused for the murder of Shaun Woodburn.

"The jury convicted him of culpable homicide and he was sentenced to five years six months, of which four years is the custodial term followed by an 18-month extension period.

"In light of the jury's verdict, the issue of whether the sentence was unduly lenient required to be addressed on the basis that the death of Mr Woodburn was caused by a single punch which caused him to fall to the ground sustaining a fatal injury to his head. The accused was 16 years old at the time of the offence; and had no previous convictions.

"The Crown can proceed with an appeal that the sentence is unduly lenient only where the relevant test is met, namely whether the sentence falls outside the range of sentences that a judge applying his or her mind to all of the relevant factors could reasonably have considered appropriate. This criteria is well established in case law.

"In this case, Crown Counsel have concluded that the test for an appeal has not been met and accordingly have decided there will be no appeal against the sentence.

"We have discussed this decision with the family of Shaun Woodburn."

In a post on Facebook, Mr Woodburn's mother Denise Syme wrote: "I just want to let all my friends and all the people that signed the petition know that we have not been granted the appeal for Shaun's killer's sentence to be lengthened.

"We have now the agonising wait to find out if the killer's appeal against his conviction will be granted.

"Life is so unfair and unjust we are all broken but he ... the killer will be smiling tonight."

Mr Woodburn's father Kevin Woodburn told the Daily Record: "Shaun's life and indeed his death doesn't matter to anyone.

"If four years is deemed acceptable for the taking of a man's life, then the sentencing guidelines in this legal system Scotland has are wrong. The value of life means nothing to the legal world."