The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2011 – Judge's sympathy for Arlene's family
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This story appeared in the Northern Scot, May 27, 2011.
LORD Hope expressed sympathy to the family of Arlene Fraser for the inevitable further delay in the final conclusion of the case with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“We are very conscious of the distress that this will cause to all concerned, especially to the family of the deceased.”
However, he added: “Fairness lies at the heart of our system of criminal justice and it is that principle that has made the decision which we have taken today inevitable.”
He said consideration of whether a new trial should be convened was best left to the High Court, and it is also for that court to formally quash Mr Fraser’s conviction.
Lord Hope also had a cautionary note for the media reporting of the case.
“It is of the first importance that the media should refrain from any discussion of the detail or strength of the evidence against the appellant until the issue of whether there is to be a retrial has been resolved.
“The decision that we have taken in these proceedings, and the reasons for it, may be published. But those whose programmes and publications are available to the public in Scotland must not do or say anything that might prejudice the prospects of a retrial, if that is what the High Court of Justiciary decides to authorise."