On 20 October 2003 the appellant, a practicing general medical practitioner, pled guilty in the High Court to 17 charges on the indictment against him. The complainers were all young women who at various times between January 1986 and January 2000 had, as patients, attended the surgery where he practised. Each of the charges was of assault upon the patient involving acts of indecency. The appellant was sentenced to 9 years' imprisonment (discounted from 12 years).The appellant sought to appeal against that sentence, but leave to appeal was refused by a single judge and that refusal of leave was confirmed by two judges of the court. The appellant thereafter made an application to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission for review of his sentence. The Commission took the view that it was at least arguable that the 12 years starting point did not "fall within the general pattern of disposals for cases involving breach of trust and sexual offences" and that accordingly there might have been a miscarriage of justice. The court here considered whether that was the case.

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