39,000 sign petition demanding justice for tragic Shaun Woodburn

Tens of thousands of people have a signed a petition calling for 'justice' for Shaun Woodburn less than a day after his killer was jailed for four years.

Former Bonnyrigg Rose player Shaun Woodburn. Picture: contributed
Former Bonnyrigg Rose player Shaun Woodburn. Picture: contributed

Shaun’s family reacted with fury, saying the amount of time his killer will be locked up wasn’t severe enough.

The 17-year-old attacker, who cannot be named, was sentenced for the culpable homicide of the footballer during a New Year street fight at Glasgow High Court.

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Shaun’s family have launched a petition they hope to put in front of the Scottish Justice Minister, Michael Matheson, asking for the punishment to be more severe.

By last night, the petition had reached its target of 35,000 names – with just under 39,000 having signed the petition.

The Crown Office, which has the right to appeal “unduly lenient” verdicts, said it will look at the case but will give no guarantee.

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A spokesman said: “As with all cases, the Crown will consider the sentence and give consideration to whether it might be unduly lenient.”

Shaun’s family and friends were distraught when judge, Lady Stacey, passed sentence.

Serving his term at HM Young Offenders Institution at Polmont, his killer could be out after serving only two years.

Prisoners in Scotland, given a sentence of four years or less are eligible for release at the halfway point.

Furious dad Kevin Woodburn demanded an explanation from the judge before launching the petition which asked supporters to sign if they “agree that a four-year custodial sentence with an 18 month supervisory order does not represent justice”.

Lady Stacey told the guilty teen: “Shaun Woodburn’s family will never be the same again – perhaps most poignantly a young daughter has been deprived of her father.

“You have to live the rest of your life with the knowledge of this young man’s death.”

The attacker, who was 16 at the time, felled Shaun with a single punch outside Gladstones bar where the popular dad-of-one had been partying on Hogmanay.

He had been charged with murder, but his not guilty plea was accepted.

The assailant was instead convicted of the lesser charge of culpable homicide following a trial at the High Court in Dunfermline.

Co-accused Mohammed Zakariyah, 19, also admitted assaulting Hogmanay revellers.

He had pled guilty to two assaults and a breach of the peace in connection with that night and was ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “In line with the independence of the courts from government, Ministers do not comment on, nor have the powers to intervene in individual criminal cases, where sentencing decisions are a matter for the court, taking account of all the information available to them.

“The impact that the loss of a loved-one is devastating and our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Shaun.”

You can sign the petition here.