HMA v ROBYN REBECCA SMITH

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Doherty sentenced Robyn Rebecca Smith to 3 years 5 months imprisonment after she pled guilty to assault to severe injury, permanent impairment and the danger of life on 20 December 2012 in Perth.

On sentencing Lord Doherty made the following statement in court:

“You have been convicted of assault to severe injury, permanent impairment and the danger of life.

You stabbed Nicholas Manson four times in the chest in the course of a dispute about drugs. Both his lungs were punctured. His injuries had the potential to be life threatening but because of the prompt medical attention he obtained from paramedics that threat to his life was quickly averted. He subsequently required surgery in hospital and he remained an in-patient for over a month. Thereafter he has had further surgery for nerve damage.  He is likely to have some permanent deficit related to movement and feeling in his arms.

The weapon you used was a small kitchen knife which you kept on your person. I am told it was about 4 inches in length, the blade and handle each being about 2 inches. You have a lengthy record including several convictions for assault. You have already served a number of custodial sentences, the most recent being 11 months imprisonment following conviction on 2 May 2012 for assault and robbery.

I take account of what has been said on your behalf. Your drug addiction has played a large part in you finding yourself before the court today. I note the terms of the victim impact statement and the letter to you from the complainer, and in particular to his expressed desire that you do not receive a custodial sentence: I have regard to this, but the public interest requires that a significant custodial sentence be imposed for a serious crime of this nature. His attitude does, however, permit me to deal with the case more leniently than I would otherwise have done. I have regard to the fact that you have pled guilty at the first preliminary hearing, and to the utilitarian benefits which resulted from that.

Had you not pled guilty I would have sentenced you to 4 years 6 months imprisonment.  In light of your plea the sentence I impose is 3 years 5 months imprisonment. The sentence will be backdated to 21 December 2012."

Sentence was passed 16 April 2013.