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Sentencing Statements

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HMA v JOSEPH KEARINS

At the High Court in Glasgow Lady Scott sentenced Joseph Kearins to a 12 year extended sentence with a punishment part of 8 years imprisonment, after he pled guilty to the culpable homicide of Jordan Maguire in Glasgow on 11 October 2012.

4 June 2013

On sentencing Lady Scott made the following statement in court:

“You have pled guilty to the culpable homicide of Jordan Maguire, within a flat in Shettleston Road in Glasgow on 11th October 2012.  In the course of an ongoing fight with Mr Maguire you killed him by stabbing him through the heart. The taking of a life is obviously always very serious and all the more so when it is carried out by the use of a lethal weapon in this way.

I have listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf by counsel. I accept that your culpability is mitigated by provocation – it was the deceased who started the fight and you were subjected to a quite serious assault. After getting to your feet you lost control, grabbed the kitchen knife and used it.

In your favour too, you immediately expressed distress and remorse at the scene at what you had done. You also attempted to resuscitate the deceased and, along with others, broke down the door of the flat to enable ambulance access.

I recognise that you have pled guilty but I am not persuaded that I should exercise my discretion to discount your sentence.  There may have been discussions about a plea but the plea was only tendered during the trial.

Your criminal record and the Criminal Justice and Social Work (CSJW) background report presents a bleak and troubling picture of a violent young man.  You have a long history of alcohol related violent offending.  You have demonstrated aggressive behaviour since you were a young child. Your first conviction was when you were 12 years old and now aged 23 you have 24 previous convictions. Many of these include offences of violence. Most notably you have a conviction on indictment for an assault to severe injury. 

This offending is clearly related to long term and excessive alcohol abuse.  Added to this is a history of erratic but long term and chaotic drug misuse. At the time of this offence you had consumed a staggering amount of alcohol and its’ effect was no doubt exacerbated by also taking valium. From a very young age you have developed pancreatitis which demonstrates the extent of your alcohol problem, if you keep drinking you will not have a future and you will continue to pose a risk of violence.

The CJSW report assesses you as presenting the maximum risk for re-offending and causing significant harm.   In this context I have decided that a determinate sentence will not provide adequate protection for the public and I am going to impose an extended sentence. An extended sentence consists of the appropriate term of imprisonment and an extension period whereby your release on licence is extended for that period. The effect is that, if, during that period, if you do not comply with the conditions of your licence, your licence may be revoked and you may be recalled to prison by the Scottish Ministers, with or without consultation with the Parole Board.

Balancing all of these considerations I have decided to sentence you to a 12 year extended sentence of which consists of a term of imprisonment of 8 years and an extension period of 4 years, backdated to 15th October 2012.”