Tayside and Central Scotland

Grieving mother's call for higher culpable homicide sentences

Jane Logan
Image caption Marie Low's mother Jane Logan said the justice system is "out of date"

The mother of a Dundee woman whose killer was jailed for five-and-a-half years has called for higher sentences for culpable homicide.

Jane Logan's daughter Marie Low was stabbed to death by Siobhan Russell in Dundee in 2016.

Ms Logan described Russell's sentence as "unacceptable" and said Scotland's justice system was "out of date".

Russell was originally charged with murder but found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

The jury rejected a plea that Russell acted in self-defence during a confrontation which took place in front of Miss Low's pregnant daughter.

Ms Logan told BBC Scotland's John Beattie Show that she attended Russell's sentencing at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Image caption Marie Low was killed in Dundee in 2016

She said: "I don't even remember coming out of that building, I was in so much shock. I could not believe what I'd just heard.

"We cannot possibly move on from this, we need something to be done. That sentence is just unacceptable.

"Five-and-a-half years for taking someone's life. I just cannot get my head round that.

"My daughter, on her way into hospital, she went into cardiac arrest five times, it's just beyond words."

Ms Logan said her daughter, who was 36 when she was killed, had been "outgoing, loud, bubby and full of life."

She said: "I know that the other girl brought a knife from her house, came down the stairs and stabbed my daughter through the heart with it.

"Apparently there are two levels of culpable homicide.

"One is with provocation and the other is without provocation and it was without provocation that the girl was found guilty.

"Now, she was sentenced to five-and-a-half years for that. She took my daughter's life. She took my grandchildren's mother away.

"She's devastated our family, absolutely devastated it."

Image caption Marie Low's father Albert has written to the Justice Secretary Michael Matheson

Marie's father Albert Low has written an open letter to Justice Secretary Michael Matheson telling of the family's heartbreak.

Ms Logan said: "We've been told we are going to be getting a meeting with Michael Matheson and we really want that meeting as soon as possible.

"Some of the sentences that are being handed out are seriously laughable, it's just shocking.

"It's crazy. The justice system is so out-of-date, it needs revamped.

"The way I see it, there's no value put on life now.

"If you're getting sentences like that for taking someone's life, what is the point?

"Something needs to be done."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "The impact of the loss of a loved one is devastating, and our sympathies remain with Marie's family and friends.

"While ministers do not comment on, nor have the powers to intervene in individual criminal cases, the cabinet secretary often hears first-hand from those who have experienced Scotland's justice system so that it can continue to be made as responsive as possible for victims and their families.

"Mr Matheson has indicated that he would be happy to meet Mr Low - that's Marie's father - on that basis."

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