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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.
Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.
HMA v Michael Nolan
May 21, 2020
On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:
“You have pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of your partner and a number of other offences involving both her and your own mother, all committed within the two days following your release on licence from a sentence of 9 months imprisonment imposed on 5 July 2019 for assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement. That was your second conviction on indictment in 2019 for assault, the first, in February of that year, involving, I am told, brandishing a knife at your partner. Indeed the offending which I have to deal with today started on the very same day as your release from the sentence imposed in July.
Charge 1 was a statutory breach of the peace, involving shouting, swearing and threatening violence to your partner, charge 2 was a charge of vandalism consisting of smashing your partner’s mobile phone, charge 3 involved repeatedly biting her on the body and repeatedly punching her on the head and body to her injury and charge 4 was a charge of attempting to murder her, by assaulting her in various ways and stabbing her repeatedly on the head and body with a knife, resulting in severe injury and permanent disfigurement.
Charge 5 was one of assaulting your mother by seizing her by the neck, butting her on the head and punching her when she tried to intervene to help your partner, charge 6 involved detaining both your partner and your mother against their will in the house where all this happened, your mother’s home, and charge 7 involved theft of £20 and a bank card from your partner.
The circumstances of the offences were narrated fully when you tendered your pleas of guilty and I need not go over them again but it is apparent that your actions were fuelled by drink, jealousy and a desire to be in control.
The injuries sustained by your partner were not as bad as they might have been but the narrative discloses that the blade of the knife broke off during the assault and you desisted, telling her that her luck had just got better with the knife breaking.
I take account of the circumstances of the offences, your record, the contents of the Criminal Justice Social Work and psychological reports and what has been said by your Counsel.
She could not have said any more on your behalf but in reality, as she recognised, there is no excuse for what you did. On the other hand, you pleaded guilty at an early stage and you will be given full credit for that.
You are a significant danger to your partner and I have to impose a sentence on you with particular regard to the aims not only of punishing you for what you did but protecting her from you. She must be free to live her own life as she wishes to, not as you would have it.
In the circumstances I am satisfied that it is necessary to impose an extended sentence on charge 4 to protect the public, and your partner in particular, from serious harm from you on your release. The conditions of a normal licence will not be sufficient. The sentence will consist of two parts, the first of which is a custodial element. When you are released from that you will be subject to a licence, the conditions of which will be set by the Scottish Ministers. If you breach any of those conditions you will be liable to be recalled to serve the balance of the whole sentence.
The sentences on each charge will run concurrently and will date from the expiry of the period of 138 days which I impose from today in terms of Section 16 of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 to reflect the fact that you committed the offences while on licence.
On charge 1 the sentence had you gone to trial would have been imprisonment for 18 months including 6 months attributable to the aggravation that it involved abuse of your partner. In view of your plea it will be 12 months including 4 months attributable to the aggravation.
On charge 2 the sentence after trial would have been imprisonment for 6 months including 3 attributable to the aggravation. In view of your plea it will be 4 months including 2 for the aggravation.
On each of charges 3 and 6 the sentence after trial would have been imprisonment for 30 months, including 6 months attributable to the aggravation but in view of your plea it will be 20 months including 4 months for the aggravation.
On charge 5 the sentence after trial would have been imprisonment for 12 months but in view of your plea it will be 8 months.
On charge 7 the sentence would have been imprisonment for 3 months but in view of your plea it will be 2 months.
On charge 4, the attempted murder charge, the sentence would have been an extended sentence consisting of a custodial element of 11 years, including 1 year attributable to the aggravation, and an extension period of 3 years. In view of your plea the extension period will remain the same but the custodial element would be reduced to 7 years and 4 months including 8 months for the aggravation. I say it would be reduced to that figure because I have to make a further reduction to take account of the fact that you have spent the equivalent of 11 months on remand so the resulting sentence is an extended one with a custodial element of 6 years and 5 months and an extension period of 3 years.
Furthermore I impose a non-harassment order requiring you for an indeterminate period to refrain from contact with the complainer by any means, including by telephone, e-mail or any social media applications, or from attending at her home address, wherever that may be from time to time.”
19 May 2020