The appeal of ex-MSP Lord Watson of Invergowrie against his 16-month jail sentence for fire-raising at Prestonfield Hotel in Edinburgh (see No 499[3]) was refused by the Court of Criminal Appeal on 24 March 2006.  While the sentence had been partly based upon a disputed assessment of the risk that Watson might re-offend, the commission of a serious criminal offence by a person in his privileged position must be met with rigour if public confidence in the law and in these institutions is to be maintained ” (Lady Cosgrove).  The earliest date on which Watson can now be released from Saughton Prison is 23 May 2006