HMA v DAVID BROWN

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Stewart sentenced David Brown to six years imprisonment after he was found guilty of assault and robbery in Larkhall on 17 May 2013.

“David Brown, on 1 November 2013 at the High Court, Glasgow, you were convicted after trial by a majority of the jury of the assault and robbery of Martin Gillett in the following terms:

‘On 17 May 2013 at Machanhill, Larkhall and elsewhere in Larkhall you did while acting along with another assault Martin Gillett, and repeatedly punch him on the head and body, force him to walk to an automated teller machine at Union Street, Larkhall and compel him to withdraw cash there and therefter at Machanhill, Larkhall, tie him to a chair and pour accelerant and boiling liquid over him, all to his severe injury, and did rob him of a wallet, a quantity of money, a key and motor vehicle;

you David Brown did commit this offence while on bail, having been granted bail on 9 August 2012 and 25 February 2013 both at Hamilton Sheriff Court.’

The jury made a number of deletions but the crime which remains is a serious one. The assault was unprovoked and showed both a degree of planning and calculated cruelty. The assault was prolonged and the violence was exceptional. The assault took place in two phases between which you and your accomplice forced Mr Gillett to go to a cash machine in the middle of the night and to withdraw money for you. The second phase included tying Mr Gillett to a chair with an electric cable and pouring boiling water over him. The evidence led at trial shows that Mr Gillett was terrified and in fear of his life. He was severely injured.

I take a serious view of the fact that, in spite of being present at the scene and involved in the crime, something you have admitted the same to the social work reporters since conviction, a special defence of alibi was lodged on your behalf and your mother was cited as a witness for the defence to provide alibi evidence to the jury.

The notice of previous convictions shows that you have been convicted on 12 previous occasions, on some of those occasions in respect of multiple offences. You have a conviction for assault and robbery in 2000 and convictions for very many offences of dishonesty. You have previously served three terms in prison. Your conviction on this occasion includes two bail aggravations. I deduce from the social work report as confirmed by your counsel Mr Whyte today that one of the bail orders related to a charge of theft and the other to a charge of domestic breach of the peace.

The social work report points in the direction of a prison sentence with an extension for post-release supervision in the interests of public protection. I take the view, agreeing with Mr Whyte, that the circumstances are just short of the threshold for an extended sentence. Having regard to all the circumstances brought to my attention including the victim impact statement insofar as relevant I shall impose a sentence of six years imprisonment, six months of which is attributable to the bail aggravations. For the purposes of section 210 of the Act I shall backdate your sentence to 21 May 2013, the date when you were remanded in custody.”