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.
Read more about victims of crime and sentencing.
HMA v Brandon Bloice
Feb 3, 2022
On sentencing, Judge Gillian Wade made the following statement in Court:
“Brandon Bloice, on the day of your trial you pled guilty to two charges relating to events of the 20th and 21st September 2019 including the attempted murder of a woman who was a complete stranger to you with intent to rape her.
The Court heard a chilling and disturbing account of your predatory behaviour towards other unidentified women in the hours before this attack as you sought out a victim upon whom to perpetrate an abhorrent and pre meditated attack for your own sexual gratification.
Fortunately the woman named in charge one saw you coming towards her and made her escape by running away, abandoning her bicycle because she realised she would not have time to unlock it before you reached her.
Unfortunately the woman named in charge two did not hear you approach and the first she knew was when you stabbed her in the back from behind with a knife, showing wicked recklessness as to whether she lived or died.
You have admitted that it was your intention to perpetrate a sexual homicide that night and the alarming nature of the material which you searched for on the internet before this assault confirms you are motivated by deviant sexual interests.
These offences even taken alone would be very serious and would give rise to concerns about the risk you pose to women. However these events occurred against a background of established sexual offending.
It is worrying that you were subject to supervision and were being monitored using stringent restrictions at the time of these offences but you had failed to comply with the measures which had been put in place to provide public protection.
I have been provided with a risk assessment report which makes clear that you present a high risk of offending in the future. You have been diagnosed with a severe form of psychopathy with associated personality disorders and sexually sadistic fantasies. You are also described as highly duplicitous and deceitful and your failure to comply with past interventions makes you extremely challenging to manage.
All of these factors are relevant to the assessment that you present a high risk of reoffending.
I have to determine if it is probable that the nature of, or the circumstances of the commission of, the offences of which you have been convicted either in themselves or as part of a pattern of behaviour are such as to demonstrate that there is a likelihood that you, if at liberty, will seriously endanger the lives, or physical or psychological well-being, of members of the public at large.
I am satisfied that the risk criteria specified in section 210E of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland ) Act 1995 are met and that it is necessary to impose upon you an Order for Lifelong Restriction. That is a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period.
I require to specify the minimum period you must serve in custody before the Parole Board for Scotland can, in the future, consider your case. That is called the punishment part of the sentence and Parliament has set out how I must go about fixing that.
Had I not been minded to make an order for lifelong restriction, I would have imposed an extended sentence of 15 years in respect of charge 2. The custodial term of this sentence would have been 10 years and the extension period 5 years. (These periods are less than I would have imposed if you were over 25 years of age to take account of the guidelines applicable to the sentencing of young persons).
I must ignore any period of imprisonment which may be necessary for the protection of the public in order to determine an appropriate period to satisfy requirements of punishment and deterrence. That period is 9 years as the public protection element would also have been met by the extension period imposed for that specific purpose.
I will follow the normal approach suggested in the legislation and reduce that period by one half to take account of the effects of early release. The result, is that the punishment part for the purposes of the order for lifelong restriction is 4 years and six months – one half of the 9 year term. To take account of your pleas of guilty, I will reduce that to 4 years.
I make it clear that this is no more than a minimum period. The sentence imposed is not a sentence of imprisonment for 4 years, it is an Order for Lifelong Restriction which is a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period. It shares some characteristics with a life sentence.
You will not be eligible to apply for parole until the punishment part has run its course. It certainly does not signify that you are likely to be released at that stage or indeed ever. That, as I have said, will be for others to decide.
In respect of charge 1 I will impose a concurrent sentence of 20 months which will be reduced to 18 months to reflect your plea.
Your sentences will be backdated to 24th September 2019 when you first appeared in court in connection with the present offences.
You will remain subject to the notification requirements applicable to sex offenders for the remainder of your life. Your name has been added to the list of persons deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.”
3 February 2022