SENTENCING STATEMENTS

 

A judge may decide to publish a statement after passing sentence on an offender in cases where there is particular public interest; where a case has legal significance; or where providing the reasons for the decision might assist public understanding.

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When deciding a sentence, a judge must deal with the offence that the offender has been convicted of, taking into account the unique circumstances of each particular case. The judge will carefully consider the facts that are presented to the Court by both the prosecution and by the defence.

For more information about how judges decide sentences; what sentences are available; and matters such as temporary release, see the independent Scottish Sentencing Council website.

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HMA v Gary Martin

 

Apr 3, 2020

At the High Court in Glasgow today (6 February 2020) Lord Matthews imposed an extended sentence of 9 years and 6 months with a custodial period of 6 years and 6 months on Gary Martin after he pled guilty to charges which included the possession of a loaded shot gun.

On sentencing, Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:
 
“On 13 November 2019, at a Preliminary Hearing, you pleaded guilty to 4 charges, the first two involving terrifying innocent people in their own homes by shouting racist abuse and similar conduct, the others involving possession of a loaded shotgun and pointing it at two police officers in the course of their duty, causing them to fear for their lives.
 
I take on board that you did not intend to harm them, and indeed that has been the pattern of your offending, but the people on the receiving end of weapons are not to know that.
 
The courts must do what they can to stop this kind of thing and protect innocent people, including police officers, who have a difficult enough job as it is.
 
I have taken on board everything said on your behalf and the contents of the social work and psychiatric reports which have been prepared.
 
I can see the force in Mr Lenehan’s contention that you are in a cycle of going to prison, coming out, fuelling up on drink and/or drugs and committing crimes which increase in severity. The remedy for this is in your own hands. There are no psychiatric issues involved in this case, the crimes having been committed while you were grossly intoxicated but that is no excuse. If anything, it is even worse to have a gun when you are under the influence of substances as then your ability to control yourself is severely compromised.
 
I am satisfied that in order to protect the public from serious harm from you when you are released, an extended sentence is necessary on charge 3. That is a sentence which consists of a custodial element and an extension period when you will be subject to stringent licence conditions to be set by or on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. Breach of these conditions may see you recalled to prison to serve the remainder of your sentence.
 
The sentences will all be concurrent and run from 18 July 2019.
 
On each of charges 1 and 2 the sentences will be imprisonment for 2 years including 3 months in respect of each aggravation, making a total of 6 months for those aggravations. After trial the sentences would have been 2 years and 8 months, including 4 months for each aggravation, a total of 8 months for those.
 
On charge 5 the sentence is 5 years imprisonment. I will refrain from increasing the sentence to reflect the bail element in view of your plea.
 
On charge 3 the custodial element will be 6 years and 6 months, the 6 months reflecting the bail aggravation, and the extension period will be 3 years making a total of 9 years and 6 months.
 
But for the plea the custodial element would have been 8 years and 8 months, the 8 months being in respect of bail.”