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HMA v Derek Alland


Dec 11, 2023

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lady Poole imposed an extended sentence of 9 years on Derek Alland after the offender pled guilty to assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life. Lady Poole sentenced Derek Alland to a further 8 months imprisonment for assaulting a police officer.

On sentencing Lady Poole made the following remarks in court:

"Derek Alland, on 2 November 2023 you plead guilty in the High Court in Edinburgh to two serious charges of assault.  Charge 1 is a charge of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life.  Charge 2 is assault of a police officer.

On Valentine’s Day 2023, just before midnight, you knocked on the door of a flat. You were drunk at the time, and had one shoe on and the other foot bare.  You demanded a sock.  You then barged into the flat when your demand was not met.  There you carried out a horrific and sustained assault on the man whose home it was, and who had opened the door to you. You hit him on the head with a bottle you were carrying, knocking him to the ground.  Broken glass was later found in the flat.  You then assaulted your victim as he lay on the floor, by punching and stamping on his head and body.  Not content with that, you continued to assault your victim with items you found in the flat, such as an ornamental samurai sword. 

It must have been a terrifying experience for your victim, as well as for his partner who was in the flat at the time.  Your victim was taken by ambulance to hospital and was admitted overnight.  He had a number of wounds to his head and ear, some which required multiple stitches and others which were closed with glue.  All had the potential to leave permanent scars.

Meantime the police had been called and had apprehended you.  A police officer was attempting to take a DNA sample from you at the police station.  You assaulted him by spitting at him when he was about 18 inches away.  Your spit landed on his chin and clothes.

All of this you did after being released early from a sentence of 13 months imprisonment, when you were on licence until 30 April 2023.  You were also on bail granted on five different occasions between January 2022 and February 2023.  

You were 28 years old at the time of these offences and had already amassed an extensive record of previous convictions.  These include crimes of violence, disorder, drug offences and breaches of bail.  You had received several custodial sentences, the longest being imposed on 30 July 2018 for a domestic abduction and assault.

I ordered a criminal justice social work report with a risk assessment.  I note your troubled upbringing, and your issues with substance abuse.  The report assessed you as falling within the maximum band of risk/needs profile.  It also expressed the view that you have a pattern of violent offending, and pose an ongoing risk of serious harm.

I have taken into account the submissions on your behalf in mitigation.

Nonetheless, these were extremely serious offences.  Given your previous record and the nature of the offences before the court, custodial sentences are inevitable. 

On charge 2, I impose a sentence of 8 months imprisonment, reduced from 12 months for your early guilty plea. I have not added anything for the bail aggravations because those are accounted for in the sentence I am about to impose on charge 1.

On charge 1, because of the nature of the offence and your previous convictions, I do not consider that ordinary conditions of release will be sufficient to protect the public from serious harm from you.  I have decided to impose an extended sentence on you.  The sentence will be in two parts, a custodial part and an extension period after your release from custody, during which you will be subject to a licence, the conditions of which will be set by the Scottish Ministers. Breach of any of these conditions will make you liable to be recalled to serve out the whole of the sentence in custody. I sentence you to a custodial part of 6 years, reduced from a headline of 9 years for your early guilty plea, 6 months of the headline reflecting the bail aggravations.  The extension period is 3 years, giving a total sentence on charge 1 of 9 years.

Your sentence on charge 2 will be backdated to 25 March 2023.  You first appeared on petition on 16 February 2023 and were remanded in custody at that time.  The backdating takes account of the outstanding licence period to which you were subject at the time of these offences. The sentence on charge 1 will run consecutively to the sentence imposed on charge 2."

6 December 2023