Nicola Sturgeon has offered her condolences to the family of Shaun Woodburn amid a campaign for an appeal against his killer’s sentence.
A 17-year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty after attacking Shaun in the Leith area of Edinburgh on New Year’s Day.
He was jailed for four years in November, a sentence which outraged Shaun’s family and friends as well as the wider public.
The First Minister was urged to meet with Shaun’s family to hear their concerns over the justice system following the ruling.
In a letter, Ms Sturgeon said the Crown Office had offered the family a meeting to answer any questions they had, but stressed she could not intervene herself in matters of the court.
She wrote: “I can scarcely begin to imagine the deep distress your family is experiencing and offer my sincere condolences for the loss you have suffered.
“I hope this meeting will prove useful to you. While I can entirely understand your wish for me to intervene personally, I know you will appreciate that Scottish Government ministers are not able to intervene in any criminal case.
“I know that this can be difficult for families but it is essential to preserve the independence of the legal system and to protect it from political interference.
“I understand that this continues to be a heart-wrenching time for you and I want you to know that my thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.”
The Justice For Shaun Woodburn petition has so far attracted over 60,000 signatures.
READ MORE - Shaun Woodburn killer jailed for four years