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HMA v Daniel Gauld


Mar 25, 2024

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Fairley sentenced Daniel Gauld to life imprisonment for the murder of Douglas Struthers. Gauld must serve a minimum of 20 years before becoming eligible for parole.

Lord Fairley told Gauld on sentencing:

“You carried out a vicious, prolonged and savage assault on Douglas Struthers within his home at 18 Barony Court, B’oness on 14 September 2022. Your attack on Mr Struthers including repeated punching and kicking to his head and body and repeatedly striking him on the head and body with a metal pole. You assaulted him with such severity that two of his teeth ended up in his lungs. He had tramline bruising from being struck with the pole and multiple other injuries to his head and body. The beating that you administered to Mr Struthers was so severe as to amount to murder.

I have listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf today, and I note that you have expressed a degree of remorse. I treat that, however, with a substantial level of caution as it appears to me from the evidence I have heard that you are someone who will say whatever suits your purposes regardless of whether or not it is true.

There are also a number of aggravating factors in this case. Your attack on Mr Struthers was unprovoked. It occurred whilst you were heavily intoxicated. The level of violence used by you was extreme and included the use of a weapon. Your victim was a disabled man in his 60s who was not well known to you but who had invited you and your friend Fiona Grigg into his home earlier that day where he had provided you both with hospitality. This court must do what it can to signify society’s revulsion at crimes of this kind committed against vulnerable people like Mr Struthers.

The sentence for murder is set by law, and is imprisonment for life. That is the sentence I impose on you today. I must also fix a period of time, known as the punishment part of your sentence. That is the minimum period that you must serve before you are eligible to be considered for release on life-long licence. In your case, that period will be a period of 20 years. I will backdate that sentence to the date of your remand on 15 September 2022.

It does not follow that you will be released at the end of that period. That will be a matter for the Parole Board to consider at the appropriate time.”

25 March 2024