HMA v AZEEM ASLAM & ZEESHAN ASLAM

At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Stewart sentenced Azeem and Zeeshan Aslam after they were convicted of the culpable homicide of Anthony Dryden on 23 March 2013 at Stonefield Street, Airdrie.

On sentencing Lord Stewart made the following statement in court:

“AZEEM ASLAM and ZEESHAN ASLAM on 25 October at the High Court in Glasgow after trial the jury convicted you by a majority of culpable homicide in respect of the killing of Anthony Dryden on 23 March 2013 at Stonefield Street, Airdrie by repeatedly striking him on the head and body with a baseball bat and a piece of wood whereby he was so severely injured that he died the next day at Monklands Hospital. The jury found that you did not act under provocation as that concept was explained to them. However I recognise that Mr Dryden deliberately broke the window of your father’s fast food shop and that, understandably, as your counsel said, and I agree with that, you immediately chased after him.

I have had regard to the eloquent pleas in mitigation by your respective counsel, to the evidence led at trial, to the social work reports and to all other circumstances including the victim impact statements submitted by the family of Mr Dryden. I have the impression that your counsel are correct when they say that in your different ways you are both capable of making a positive contribution to the community when you have the opportunity to do so. I am also conscious that the punishment I am about to impose on you will also be a punishment for your family.

I am bound to impose substantial sentences of imprisonment. There is some basis for distinguishing between you in that, first, you Azeem Aslam are older and have a criminal record for violence whereas you Zeeshan Aslam come to court as a genuine first offender and in that, secondly, you Azeem Aslam, though this is perhaps not a point of great distinction, were admittedly armed with a baseball bat before the final encounter with the deceased whereas you Zeeshan Aslam simply picked up a piece of wood on the spot. I regard some to the statements in the social work reports as speculative and have given them no weight. However I have given weight to the recommendation for post-release supervision in your case Azeem Aslam which will be effected by imposing an extended sentence. You will appreciate that in the light of the jury’s verdict and having regard to the fact that Mr Dryden is dead the scope for leniency is limited: but I shall exercise such leniency as is open to me in light of the jury’s verdict.

Azeem Aslam in your case I shall impose an extended sentence of eleven years in terms of section 210A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, comprising a custodial term of eight years with an extension period of three years taking account of the period you have spent in custody on remand by backdating your sentence to 25 March 2013.

Zeeshan Aslam I shall sentence you to seven years imprisonment backdated also to the date of your remand in custody namely 25 October 2013 and taking account of the two weeks you spent in custody on remand at the commencement of proceedings”.