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HMA v Colin Thomson


Apr 10, 2024

On 13 March 2024 at the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh Colin Thomson was convicted after trial of a contravention of section 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018. The court made a non-harassment order of indefinite duration prohibiting Mr Thomson from approaching or contacting the complainer, and it continued the matter of sentence to obtain reports. On 10 April 2024 at the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh Lord Doherty sentenced Mr Thomson to 42 months’ imprisonment. He also made non-harassment orders preventing him from contacting two children

His Lordship delivered the following sentencing statement:

"Colin Thomson, you have been convicted of a contravention of section 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.

I have had regard to the terms of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report and Risk Assessment, the Victim Impact Statement from the complainer, the letters from your sister and your employer, and to all that has been said on your behalf.

Because of the gravity of the crime which you have committed and your previous criminal record, a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal in your case. The abuse was serious. It extended over a period of nearly two and a half years. It has had a very marked effect of the complainer and those effects are continuing. She was not the only one affected. The offence was aggravated by reason of involving a child. 

This is not the first time you have been convicted of an offence involving abuse of the complainer. You have previous convictions for assaulting the complainer to injury and for a breach of bail conditions, and two convictions for threatening and abusive behaviour towards her contrary to section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

The headline sentences for the assault to injury, bail breach and one of the section 38 offences were each 12 months’ imprisonment. The headline sentence for the more serious breach of section 38 was 42 months’ imprisonment. Those headline sentences were discounted to 8 months and 28 months because you pled guilty at an early stage. The 8 month sentences were made concurrent to each other, but the 28 months’ sentence was consecutive, making the total sentence which was imposed on 12 October 2021 3 years’ imprisonment. The periods over which the previous offences of assault and abuse were committed and the period during which the present offence was committed overlap to a significant extent. I take account of that fact. I also have regard to the fact that some aspects of the present offence were committed later than the previous offences, but that all were committed prior to the previous sentences totalling 3 years’ imprisonment were imposed.

You are sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 42 months. That sentence will be backdated until 12 October 2022 the date from which you been remanded in custody solely in respect of this offence. I attribute 9 months of that sentence to the child aggravation.

In my judgement, in order to protect the public (and in particular the complainer) from serious harm on your release, I shall impose on you a Supervised Release Order. Accordingly, I order that, on your release from custody, you will be under the supervision of the local authority for a period of 12 months. Had it been competent for me to do so in terms of section 209 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 I would have made the supervision period longer than 12 months. During the supervision period after your release from custody you will report to the supervising officer allocated to supervise you in a manner and at intervals specified by him or her; you will keep your supervising officer informed of your current address; and you will comply with any other requirement he or she may reasonably specify. If you breach the order, you may be brought back to court and returned to custody for all or any part of a period equal to that between the date of your first breach of the order and the date when your supervision would expire. (Mr Thomson indicated that he understood).

Very well, that is the sentence which I impose.

I am also satisfied that it is appropriate for two  children to be protected by non-harassment orders. I am not satisfied that there is no need for those orders to be made. The orders will prohibit you from contacting or communicating with, or attempting to contact or communicate with, the children. Those orders will endure until each child attains the age of 18 years unless varied by the court.” 


10 April 2024