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HMA v Leslie Scott Jackson


Jun 5, 2024

At the High Court in Glasgow today, Lord Arthurson imposed an extended sentence of 12 years on Leslie Jackson. The offender had pled guilty to a charge of the abduction, assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life. The sentence is made up of a punishment period of 8 years in prison with a further 4 years on licence in the community.

On sentencing, Lord Arthurson told Jackson:

“Leslie Scott Jackson, on 8 May 2024 at a continued preliminary hearing at Glasgow High Court you tendered a plea of guilty to a charge of the abduction, assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life of a woman at her home in Aberdeen, all over a prolonged period between 7.30pm on 30 July 2022 until 3.45pm on 31 July 2022, that is to say the bulk of a continuous 24 hour period.

You are now aged 38.  You have to date accrued 37 groups of previous convictions, one of these being at High Court level for misuse of drugs offending and eight for domestic offending against the same victim who features in the present indictment, one of those being an analogous charge of assault to severe injury in 2010.  You have been the subject of six prior custodial disposals.  Your most recent conviction in June 2022 was for a domestically aggravated offence, and you were, on 15 July 2022, only 2 weeks prior to the index offence, placed by the sheriff in Aberdeen on an 18 month community payback order in respect of that matter.

The level of violence, including violence involving the repeated use by you of bladed weapons, was in my view sustained and quite extreme.  The assault was witnessed by a 4 year old child.  You punched your victim unconscious, held a kitchen knife to her throat, repeatedly strangled her, on one occasion to the point of unconsciousness, placed a steak knife in her mouth, put a knife to her throat again and stabbed the inside of her left thigh with the knife.  You attempted to force her to consume the controlled drug crack cocaine, which you yourself consumed throughout the abduction, kneed her in the vagina whist holding your hand over her mouth, repeatedly gouged her eyes and told her that she would not leave the house alive.  When she attempted to escape you grabbed her, dragged her backwards by the hair, pressed a knife into her neck and continued to assault her.  Your victim only managed to escape by jumping out of a ground floor living room window.  Medical examination disclosed 54 separate injuries on your victim, including incised wounds, cracked and loose teeth and a stab wound in a location with the potential to cause significant and indeed fatal blood loss.  Your repeated compression of your victim’s neck additionally had the potential to endanger her life.

I have listened with care to the submissions advanced by your counsel this morning in mitigation on your behalf.  I propose to take into account all that has been submitted by her, and in particular I note what has been said regarding your chaotic upbringing, your early drug dependency, your continuing support from your extended family, your employment history, your long-term mental health problems, including psychosis, your expressed remorse and the rehabilitative steps already undertaken by you while on remand.

On any view this crime can be properly located towards the highest end of the gravity spectrum for offending of this nature.  The only appropriate disposal requires to be a very significant custodial one.  In addition on the basis of the whole material before me, including the terms of the risk assessment in the criminal justice social work report which is now available, I further conclude that the normal period of licence would not be adequate to protect the public from serious harm from you when you are released from custody in due course.  Accordingly, I propose imposing upon you an extended sentence, which will be in two parts.  The first part will be custodial and the second will be an extension period when you will be under supervision while on licence in the community.  The conditions of your licence will be set by Scottish Ministers.  If during the extension period you fail to comply with your licence conditions, your licence may be revoked and you may be returned to custody for a further period in respect of this indictment.  The court also has power to deal with you if you commit a further offence after you are released from the custodial part of this sentence while you are on licence and under supervision.

Your criminal behaviour in this case was sustained, vicious and sadistic.  You, consuming crack cocaine throughout, detained your victim in her own home for a prolonged period of almost 24 hours, and inflicted violence upon her by punching, strangulation, eye gouging and by the use of knives, all in the presence of a 4 year old child.  You have a significant record for domestically aggravated offending.  The index offence nevertheless represents a substantial escalation in the gravity of that offending behaviour.  

In the whole circumstances you will serve on charge one an extended sentence of 12 years duration.  I set the headline custodial part of this disposal at a period of 10 years, which I will discount due to the timing of your plea to a period of 8 years.  The subsequent extension period will run for 4 years.  It is to be hoped that this extended period of supervision will facilitate your successful future re‑integration into the community in due course.

This sentence will be backdated to 2 August 2022, being the date of your initial remand into custody in this case.”

5 June 2024