Prosecutor v Liam Johnston (2013) H&FLR 2014-1

Livingston Sheriff Court (Scotland)

Circa 4 October 2013

Coram: Sheriff Rafferty

Appearing for the prosecutor: Not known

Appearing for the defendant: Alan Jackson (solicitor)

Catchwords: Scotland – fraud – fail to attend – sentencing – arrest – obesity

Facts: On four occasions in or about 2013 the defendant bought pizzas valued at about £30.00 each using another person’s credit card.  He pleaded guilty to obtaining goods by fraud.  He was ordered to pay compensation to the relevant Domino’s Pizza outlet (it is unclear why he was not ordered to compensate the card holder) but failed to do so.

The matter was again brought before Livingston Sheriff Court for formal sentencing.  The defendant – whose reported weight was approximately 254 kilos / 560 pounds – did not attend.  Counsel for the defendant advised the Court that he (the defendant) had“extreme difficulty getting out of the house [and] … can’t physically get out of the house even with assistance”.

Held: Semble, that a defendant’s physical size can be a relevant consideration for the Court in considering whether to grant a warrant for their arrest.  Per Sheriff Rafferty: “’It’s only because I can see huge practical difficulties with him being apprehended by the police that I’ll not grant a warrant in this case.”


No written judgment available.

Sources: Reports in the Mirror, Daily Mail, and Scotsman.