At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Armstrong sentenced William Boyd and Jacqueline Ballantyne after they were found guilty of the murder of James Grant on 8 May 2012 in Glasgow.

On sentencing Lord Armstrong made the following statement in court: “On the 8 May 2012, James Grant was assaulted in his own home in a brutal attack which resulted in his death. The jury have now found you both guilty of his murder, as charged.

I shall sentence you individually.

William Boyd

You pleaded guilty to charges 3, 7 & 8 at an earlier stage in the trial, at the close of the Crown case. These charges are contraventions of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, charge 3 being a contravention of Section 47(1) and charges 7 & 8 being contraventions of section 49 (1).  These charges involve the possession of bladed weapons in public places. It does appear from the evidence that you are a man who habitually carries knives on his person.

I note that you have a long history of previous convictions which relates to a variety of criminal behaviour, and that you previously spent time in prison.  In respect of charge 3, I sentence you to 18 months imprisonment.  In relation to charges 7 & 8, and in respect of each charge, I sentence you to two years imprisonment and I apportion 6 months of that period to the fact that you committed those offences while on bail.  These sentences will run concurrently with the sentence for charge 1, in respect of the crime                                    of murder, which I am about to impose.

The evidence on which you have been convicted of the murder of James Grant indicates that the fatal assault was premeditated and that you went to his home armed with a weapon, meaning to do him harm. This was not therefore a spontaneous incident which happened on the spur of the moment. I take into account also the fact that the attack happened in Mr. Grant’s home, he having let you in, in contemplation that you were visiting him following an earlier telephone call. Most chillingly, following the attack, and in a clearly calculated manner, you made sure that, in the aftermath of the attack, he would be unable to summon assistance, by removing his mobile phone, disabling the flat’s intercom, and by locking him in his own home and taking the keys away with you. In the event, as the evidence disclosed, his body was not discovered for another two weeks. The fatal blow was one which would have required considerable force and was most likely inflicted after Mr. Grant had been knocked to his kitchen floor and was lying there.

There are no reasons which could possibly justify the taking of another’s life, as you did.

The sentence for murder is fixed by law and is imprisonment for life.  However, I also have to impose a period which must pass before you can apply for parole, known as the punishment part of that sentence.  When that period has passed your release from prison will be a matter for the Parole Board.  Even after release you will be on licence and subject to recall to prison for the rest of your life.

In fixing this period, the punishment part, I must reflect the need to punish you for the crime of murder and to deter you and others from committing that crime. 

I have no doubt that Mr. Grant’s family has been deeply affected by this. Nothing I can say or do can compensate for their loss and I suspect that no sentence would ever be regarded as sufficient in their eyes. I have note the terms of the victim statement by Mr. Grant’s brother, which makes distressing and disturbing reading.

Having regard to all the circumstances, including your record of previous convictions, I sentence you to imprisonment for life, to run from 14.6.2012, being the date on which you were first remanded in custody in relation to this crime.  I fix the punishment part at 18 years.                                             

Jacqueline Ballantyne,

You too have been convicted of the murder of James Grant.

All that I have said in relation to that applies equally to you.

In sentencing you, I similarly take into account the particular aspects of the crime which I have mentioned, and in particular the premeditated nature of the attack and the actions which you took to ensure that Mr. Grant was unable to summon help. I take into account your previous convictions. I have also taken into account the evidence of Mr Carlin, the psychologist who gave evidence on your behalf.  In that regard, I consider it appropriate to allow for the fact that you suffer from the difficulties which he identified. I do not consider that factor to alter the extent of your criminal responsibility but it does provide some insight into how you came to be involved in this terrible event. To that extent, in imposing sentence, I am differentiating between you and William Boyle.

Having regard to all of these circumstances, including your record of previous convictions, I sentence you to imprisonment for life, to run from 20.6.2012, being the date on which you were first remanded in custody in relation to this crime.  I fix the punishment part of that sentence at 16 years. Of that period, I apportion 6 months in respect that you committed this crime while on bail.