HMA v STUART CAMERON

At the High Court in in Edinburgh Lord Uist imposed an order for lifelong restriction on Stuart Cameron after he pled guilty to the attempted murder of a man in Blackburn on 24 July 2012. The punishment part was fixed at 3 years 4 months.

On sentencing Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

“You pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of another man in Blackburn on 24 July last year. The violence which you employed on him took the form of repeatedly butting him on the head, causing him to fall to the ground, seizing him by the neck, repeatedly punching him on the head, repeatedly kicking him on the head and body and repeatedly stamping on his head. As a result of your unprovoked violence your victim suffered severe facial swelling and bruising, multiple facial fractures, a very deep wound on his top lip and the loss of several upper teeth. The treating doctor said that his injuries were among the worst she had seen.

You are now 29 years old. You have a good work record, but it is also clear that you have a history of violent crime, associated with alcohol abuse. In October 2005 you were sentenced to 85 days imprisonment for assault to injury. In January 2008 you were sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for assault to injury by the use of a belt and also to 18 months imprisonment for assault to the danger of life. I am told that the latter assault consisted of kicking and jumping on the head of your victim. In August 2011 you were convicted of being in possession of an offensive weapon, namely, a hammer, and sentenced to a restriction of liberty order. I have read the psychiatric, social work and risk assessment reports on you and considered all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation. The risk assessor has reported that violence has always been a part of your life and that you accept it as a normal feature of everyday life. He has identified a number of risk factors for future violence with no accompanying salient protective factors and assessed you as presenting a medium risk to the safety of the public at large. 

In light of the circumstances of the crime for which I am now dealing with you, your record for crimes of violence  and the contents of the three reports which I have received I am satisfied that the risk criteria are met in your case. I therefore make an order for lifelong restriction in respect of you. That sentence constitutes a sentence of imprisonment for an indefinite period. I must also fix the punishment part of your sentence, being the period which you must spend in full in prison before you can apply to be released on parole. Had you been convicted by a jury after trial I would, in light of your criminal record for violence, have imposed a fixed sentence of 10 years imprisonment. As you pleaded guilty at an early stage that sentence falls to be discounted to 6 years 8 months imprisonment, entitling you to apply for release on licence after 3 years 4 months. I therefore fix the punishment part of your sentence at 3 years 4 months. You must not assume that you will automatically be released after you have served the punishment part of your sentence: it will be for the Parole Board for Scotland to decide whether and when you should be released. Your sentence will run from 26 July 2012.”