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Sentencing Statements

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HMA v Terrence Tant

At Edinburgh High Court today (28 May 2020) Lord Pentland sentenced Terrence Tant to four years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to assault and robbery.

On sentencing, Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

“Terrence Tant, you pled guilty under the expedited procedure provided for by section 76 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 to an indictment containing two serious charges. 

The first charge was one of assault and robbery at a shop in Edinburgh.  In the course of this episode you brandished a large and menacing knife at the female and male shopkeepers in what must undoubtedly have been a terrifying ordeal for them.  The alarming nature of the incident and your aggressive and recklessly dangerous conduct were vividly shown in the CCTV film played in court.  During a struggle with the male shopkeeper he sustained a severe injury to his thumb from the knife you were wielding.  This has resulted in permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment.  I note that the victim continues to have pain and lack of mobility due to his injured thumb and that this is affecting his daily life.  The continuing psychological effects of the attack on the female shopkeeper have been substantial; they are described in her victim impact statement.

The second charge was of having the knife in a public place without reasonable excuse or lawful authority. 

It is concerning that both charges were racially aggravated and were committed while you were on bail.

You are a 41-year-old man with a limited record of previous offending, none of which is recent.  You have not previously served a custodial sentence. 

I have taken full account of the information provided to the court in the comprehensive criminal justice social work report and of all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation. 

I accept that you have expressed regret and remorse for what you did, that you have shown empathy for your victims and insight into the effects of your conduct on them.

I acknowledge also that you committed the present offences at a time when you were struggling with certain personal difficulties: you had financial problems and issues with your medication.  None of these problems can, however, begin to excuse your violent and irresponsible conduct towards the two shopkeepers.

The offences were aggravated by the planning that lay behind them, your possession of a weapon, the fact that your face was partially masked, and the severity and lasting effects of the injury you caused.

In the circumstances, there can be no doubt that I must take a serious view of these offences.  The court has a responsibility to extend such protection as it can to those who work in shops against individuals, such as you, who are disposed to resort to violence and to use weapons for personal gain.  Anyone who might be tempted to commit offences of this nature in shops or similar premises must be left in no doubt that they are likely to face severe punishment when brought to justice.

On charge 1, the charge of assault and robbery, had you not pled guilty I would have imposed a sentence of 6 years imprisonment, 6 months of which would have been attributable to the racial aggravation and three months to the bail aggravation.  I shall discount that sentence to one of 4 years imprisonment in view of your early plea of guilty.

On charge 2, the charge of possession of the knife in a public place, I shall impose a concurrent sentence of 8 months imprisonment reduced from 12 months for your guilty plea.

The sentences will be backdated to 30 December 2019.”