SENTENCING STATEMENTS

 

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HMA v Dennis Charles Cox

 

Apr 3, 2020

At Glasgow High Court today (18 February 2020) Lord Arthurson imposed an extended sentence of 10 years with a custodial term of 8 years on Dennis Charles Cox after he was found guilty of charges including assault and attempted murder.

On sentencing, Lord Arthurson made the following statement in court:
 
"Dennis Charles Cox, on 16 January 2020 at Edinburgh High Court you were convicted by a jury of the following three charges: first, a charge of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life and attempted murder in which your then partner was the complainer; second, a charge of assault to severe injury, permanent impairment and permanent disfigurement upon the same complainer, while on bail, involving the use by you of a dog lead, paint roller, stanley blade and kitchen knife;  and, third, a charge of assault to injury on another complainer, involving the use by you of a hammer and knives, also while on bail.  I note further that the first two charges are aggravated under reference to the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 section 1. Taken together these offences represent a course of extremely serious offending of a violent nature. 
 
Your criminal record contains 41 groups of previous convictions.  You have to date served five prior custodial sentences, one at High Court level.  Between 2015 and 2017 you were convicted on three occasions of crimes with domestic aggravations.  In 2017 you were convicted, on indictment, of the crime of stalking while on bail and involving a glass, and in 2018 you were convicted of offending involving a golf club and a shovel. 
 
The author of the criminal justice social work report and risk assessment prepared in respect of you for today’s sentencing hearing observes that you have demonstrated a lack of remorse and limited insight regarding your offending in this case and reports that you represent a high risk of future violence and serious harm to females within the context of an intimate relationship. 
 
I have listened carefully to the submissions of your counsel this morning in mitigation and propose to take everything that has been said on your behalf into account in determining a suitable disposal in respect of this indictment.  In particular I note what has been said about your personal and family circumstances and the nature  of the index offences themselves.
 
I have concluded that the only appropriate sentence to be imposed today requires to be a substantial custodial one.  It is also my view, on the basis of the evidence led at your trial, taken together with your previous convictions, albeit that your record for violent offending is a relatively limited one, and the terms of the background report to which I have already referred, that you present a high risk of serious harm from which it is necessary to protect the public, and that the normal licence arrangements would not in your case suffice to protect the public from the risk which you would present on your release from the custodial part of any disposal.  I am today therefore imposing upon you an extended sentence, which will be in two parts.  The first part is custodial, namely a period of imprisonment.  This will be followed by an extension period in the community, when you will be on licence and under supervision.  The conditions of your licence will be fixed by Scottish Ministers.  If during this extension period you fail to comply with these conditions, your licence will be revoked and you may be returned to custody for a further period in respect of this indictment.  The court also has power to deal with you if you commit another offence after your release while you are on licence. 
 
You will accordingly serve, in respect of charges 1, 2 and 5 on this indictment, on an in cumulo basis, an extended sentence of 10 years duration, with a custodial term of 8 years and an extension period of 2 years. This sentence will be backdated to 16 April 2019, being the date of your initial remand in custody in this case.”