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HMA v Karen McCoshan & Leanne Miller

Today at the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Pentland imposed extended sentences on Karen McCosan and Leanne Miller after they were found guilty of the attempted murder of Janet Timmons on the 17 August 2010 in Westcliff, Dumbarton.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

“Karen McCoshan and Leanne Miller, you have both been convicted, after trial, of the attempted murder of another woman, who had done no harm to either of you. Indeed, in your case McCoshan, she considered you to be your friend. The offence is aggravated by the fact that you were both, at the time, under the influence of drink and drugs. It involved a deplorable level of violence, extending to repeated kicking and stamping on the complainer’s head and body. The evidence at the trial showed that the attack was vicious, sustained and prolonged. It was judged by the jury to be an attack of a murderous nature. I propose to sentence you on the footing that you both showed the wicked recklessness required for a conviction of murder.

I have taken into account the contents of the Social Work Reports and the submissions made in mitigation this morning. I note that you have both expressed remorse from an early stage and that neither of you has a previous record for offences of violence.

The Reports assess you both as presenting a high level of risk to the public upon your eventual release from prison, a view which seems to me to be entirely justified in view of your habitual drug taking and your chaotic lifestyles. In the circumstances, I am in no doubt that the protection of the public requires me to impose extended sentences on each of you.

The extended sentence is in two parts. The first part is custodial. In view of the sustained and murderous  nature of the present offence, I consider that you must both serve substantial periods of imprisonment. In your case McCoshan this will be for 8 years. In your case Miller the custodial period will be 8 years and 3 months, 3 months of which will be attributable to the bail aggravation. 

The second part of the extended sentence is called the extension period, during which you will continue to be on licence on conditions fixed by the Scottish Ministers.  If you breach those conditions or commit another offence, you may be returned to custody in respect of the current sentence.  This would be over and above any sentence for a new offence.  I fix the extension period at 3 years for each of you. 

The commencement of your sentences will be backdated to 19 August 2010”.

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