The appointment of five new permanent Court of Session and High Court judges was announced on 2 February 2005, bringing the total number to a record 34 (see for earlier concerns about understaffing of the Bench Nos 373 and 382). The new appointees, who are all QCs and were recommended by the (still non-statutory) Judicial Appointments Board, include Leeona Dorrian , who becomes the fourth woman to be elevated to the Court of Session bench; Iain Macphail, who is the current Sheriff Principal of Lothian and Borders; and Patrick Hodge, until recently a Scottish Law Commissioner.
On 21 January 2005 Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court granted an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) under the Anti-Social Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004, banning an 18-year-old youth from entering his flat in Leven for the next three months. He was alleged to have made life intolerable for his elderly neighbours by holding regular parties (at one of which a radiator was ripped from a wall, causing flooding in the flat below) and playing music loudly. The order can be renewed for a further three months if necessary. The flat in question has been sealed with metal shutters by police.
On 21 January 2005 Luke Mitchell (16) was found guilty by a majority jury verdict of the 2003 murder of his 14-year-old girlfriend Jodi Jones. Mitchell himself was also 14 at the time of the killing. The trial in Edinburgh, which attracted enormous public attention, lasted 43 days, the longest-ever trial of a single accused in Scotland. On 11 February Mitchell was sentenced to life imprisonment with a judicial recommendation that he serve at least 20 years. On 14 February papers confirming an appeal against conviction were lodged in court.