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HMA v Harrison Keaney


Oct 12, 2023

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lady Drummond sentenced Harrison Keaney to an extended sentence of 7 years and 3 months for attempted murder. Keaney will serve 5 years and 3 months in prison with 2 years on licence in the community.

On sentencing, Lady Drummond told Keaney:

“You pled guilty to a violent attack on another young man with a knife and to attempting to murder him. 

You were out celebrating the end of your bail curfew with your friends in Glasgow when you walked past the victim and his cousin. You were strangers to each other. The victim was visiting Glasgow for his sister’s wedding. Words were exchanged and after the victim punched one of your friends, you took a knife from your pocket and repeatedly stabbed him on the chest, stomach and lower back with it four times. One stab wound narrowly missed his aorta. The injuries were severe and life threatening.

Your victim describes in his statement how deeply your actions have affected him. He has suffered and continues to suffer physically and mentally.  He has been left with significant scarring, pain and mental suffering as a result of your actions.  

Your behaviour shows that you are prepared to engage in extreme violence, to violently attack another using a weapon. You were on two bail orders at the time. You have a previous conviction from 2022 for an assault with a knife for which you were sent to jail for 6 months.

I have taken into account the criminal justice and social work report and your personal circumstances. You appear to show genuine remorse for your violent conduct and insight into the impact of your actions. The risk assessment states there is a high risk of further offending. A period of post release supervision is recommended.

I have taken into account all that has been said on your behalf this morning by Mr Hiller.

In assessing your culpability, I take into account your age and maturity at the time of the offending. You are 18 years old now as you were at the time of the offence.  I make this assessment recognising that a young person is generally less culpable than an older person sentenced for the same offence.  I have had particular regard to your young age at the time and to your rehabilitation.  I note you have begun to engage in courses addressing your offending whilst on remand.  

In all the circumstances given the serious life threatening nature of this offence and that you already have a record of violent offending, imprisonment is the only appropriate sentence.

I am satisfied that it is appropriate to pass an extended sentence on you. That is because I consider that the period you would otherwise spend on licence is insufficient to protect the public from the risk of serious harm from you on your release. Your record of offending demonstrates escalating violence. This offence caused serious harm, and had the potential to endanger life.

I impose an extended sentence which is in two parts. The first part is a period of imprisonment. Had you been more mature I would have selected 9 years imprisonment. However since you are 18 years old I impose a period of 7 years imprisonment. Of that period 3 months reflects the fact that you committed the offence while you were on two bail orders. You plead guilty at an early hearing and I will reduce the period of imprisonment to 63 months that is 5 years and 3 months to reflect that you pled guilty then.   

But that custodial term of 5 years and 3 months is not the end of your sentence.

The second part of your sentence is an extension period of 2 years which will be served in the community.  From the date of your release, you will be under licence for that 2 year period. The conditions of your licence will be fixed by the Scottish Ministers. If during this extension period, you fail to comply with the conditions of your licence, it may be revoked, and you may be returned to custody for a further period in respect of this case.  The court also has power to deal with you if you commit another offence after your release and while you are on licence.

It is a total extended sentence of 7 years and 3 months of which the custodial period is 5 years and 3 months and the extension period is 2 years.

The sentence will be backdated to 21 February 2023.”

12 October 2023