SENTENCING STATEMENTS

 

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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.

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HMA v Liam Scott

 

May 5, 2021

At Edinburgh High Court today Lady Scott sentenced Liam Scott to 5 years 4 months imprisonment after the offender pleaded guilty to breaking into a couple’s home and assaulting and robbing them.


On sentencing, Lady Scott made the following statement in court:

“You pleaded guilty, whilst acting along with two others, to forcing entry to your victims’ home and assaulting and robbing them.

Your victims are a married couple aged 78 and 79 years and lived in a bungalow in Dumfries. The detached bungalow was also the site of the tarmacadam business run by the husband. The house was secluded from view and had a private garden and a yard.

On the 18 of August 2019 you, another male and a female entered the grounds. The husband saw a figure walk past the window and he went to investigate and opened the back door. You all barged in and pushed him backwards. You repeatedly struck him on the head with a wooden baton.  Demands for money were repeatedly made. Your second victim, his wife, came to investigate the noise and she found her husband tied and bound lying on the floor whilst being repeatedly struck. She was seized by the neck and pushed against a wall. She too was also tied and bound.

You went throughout the house ransacking it and removing jewellery, pictures and mirrors. The lady’s rings and her husband’s mobile phone were removed.

When you left the couple managed to free themselves and went for help. They were seen in a distressed and obviously injured condition. You have pleaded to the victims being assaulted to severe injury and danger to life.

This was a very serious crime. It was planned and suggestive of being targeted. You removed the CCTV and ripped out the phone sockets; you were armed and masked and you took cable wire to tie up the occupants. This was a terrifying invasion and the violence used against this obviously vulnerable couple, was serious.

Both your victims unsurprisingly remain badly affected. Both suffered months of pain and both are left with a very much reduced life, with many sleepless nights and left feeling anxious or depressed. The husband reports that he is left broken hearted because he could not defend his wife and is broken by the experience. His wife remains fearful and now depends heavily upon family support.

You are now 26 years old and you have been offending on a regular basis since you were 16 years old. Housebreaking features in your offending history, with some 7 convictions. However you have only one solemn conviction. This offence is a significant escalation in your conduct and requires a substantial prison sentence.

On the other hand I take into account that you had a traumatic and difficult childhood. Your life has been adrift since childhood. I recognise you have had a hard life characterised by poverty, low self–esteem, drug abuse and with the trauma of the loss of your son.  I accept that in the months leading to this offence you were very low and desperate for money.

I also take into account you have accepted responsibility for this offence, you have expressed remorse and indeed shame about your conduct and you have tendered an early plea.

I hope that you follow through on your indication given to your counsel and in the background report, of your positive attitude toward custody. That you intend to address your drug problem and get the support and the confidence needed toward making a different future life.

I sentence you to 5 years 4 months imprisonment, reduced from 8 years to reflect your early plea. This sentence is backdated to 7th September 2020.”

5 May 2021