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HMA v Jordan James William Bald
Jul 25, 2023
Lord Arthurson told Bald:
“Jordan James William Bald, on 27 June 2023 at Edinburgh High Court you were unanimously convicted by a jury of a charge of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life and attempted murder. This occurred on the Union Canal towpath in Edinburgh on the night of 3 to 4 April 2021. You were on two separate bail orders at the time.
You had become involved in an altercation with your victim after a house party. You were under the influence of alcohol. You and your victim left the scene of that altercation separately. As your victim made his way along the canal path with his former partner you emerged and ran at him. Using a knife you inflicted approximately ten wounds to your victim’s head and body. You also fractured his skull. The proliferation and distribution of the wounds, in the discrete areas of the head, neck, chest, back, arm, elbow and hip, were clearly indicative of the infliction by you of multiple knife blows to your victim. In particular, wounds to his neck and right common carotid artery and to his right arm required open surgery at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Emergency Department, after which he was transferred to intensive care and in due course discharged. The chest and abdominal wounds inflicted all carried a high potential risk of danger of life. In addition your victim has been left with permanent disfigurement.
A telling piece of direct evidence at your trial came from a member of the public who was cycling home by the canal after his work. He observed your victim saying “please stop, I have kids”, and you striking him to the head with the knife several times after he said this.
Significantly, as you did so you were seen by that witness to be jumping in order to get more weight and force into your strikes. You left the scene of your attack and disposed of your bloodstained weapon in a bin on Hailesland Road near to a bus shelter. In these circumstances it is perhaps unsurprising that the jury entirely rejected your position that you were acting in self-defence.
You have a very limited criminal record, comprising a single conviction at sheriff court summary level. You were aged 23 at the time of this offence and are now aged 25. The author of the criminal justice social work report and risk assessment which has been prepared for this sentencing hearing identifies no protective risk factors in your case and reports that you have shown little insight regarding your use of violence in this case.
I have listened carefully to the submissions advanced on your behalf in mitigation by your counsel and note in particular what was said regarding your very limited record and the complainer’s non-engagement with the trial process, his full recovery and the background to his attendance at the party.
Turning now to disposal, standing the considerable gravity of this crime it is plain that only a very substantial custodial sentence would be appropriate. This was a vicious, feral and wholly murderous attack by you in which you rained down repeated blows with a bladed weapon upon your victim with, on any view, the clear intent to stab him to death, all as he begged for mercy.
In the whole circumstances you will therefore serve on charge 2, the attempted murder charge, a sentence of 10 years imprisonment, backdated to your initial remand into custody in this case, namely 25 April 2022. I attribute 6 months of that period to the bail aggravations libelled in that charge. For completeness, in respect of the miscellaneous summary level charges to which you pled guilty during the trial, having regard to their relatively minor nature and to the sentencing principle of totality, I propose simply to admonish you.”
25 July 2023