HMA v JAY JOHNSTONE AND SONNY GIBSON

At the High Court in Dumbarton Lord Pentland sentenced Jay Johnstone and Sonny Gibson after they pled guilty to armed robbery on 1 July 2013 at Malkha's News & Wine Store, 2 Birnam Road, Kirkcaldy .

 On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

“Jay Johnstone you have pled guilty to a very serious offence involving an armed robbery, in which you and Sonny Gibson terrorised a shop keeper in what was evidently a premeditated attack.  I note that you have a bad record including two previous convictions for assaults in which you used weapons and for which custodial sentences were imposed.  It is also a matter of great concern that you were on licence at the time of the present offence.  You are only 21 years of age.

In the first place, I shall order that you be returned to prison to serve a period of 202 days in respect of the unexpired portion of the sentence to which you were subject at the time of committing the present offence.  That order will run from today’s date.

As to the present offence, I intend to impose an extended sentence in view of the high risk you clearly present to public safety. Had you not pled guilty, I would have made the custodial portion of the extended sentence a term of 7 years. In view of your guilty plea I shall discount that to a period of 4 years and 8 months. 

The extension period, during which you will be subject to close monitoring and supervision, will be 3 years.  If you fail to comply with the terms of your release licence during the extension period, you are liable to be returned to prison.

You will require to complete the return order before the extended sentence begins to run.

In your case Sonny Gibson you have a somewhat less serious record than Johnstone, although I note that you were convicted at Sheriff and Jury level in 2012 of assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement; a non-custodial penalty was imposed  At summary level you have been convicted of offences of theft, breach of the peace, assault, vandalism and breaching bail conditions.  You have committed offences whilst on bail.  You are also the older man (being 26 years of age) and you were the person who repeatedly pointed the gun at the head of the shopkeeper. In these circumstances, I am not persuaded that there is any substantial basis for distinguishing between the two of when it comes to imposing a custodial penalty for the present offence.  Had you not pled guilty the custodial sentence would have been 7 years imprisonment.  I shall discount that to 4 years and 8 months because of your guilty plea.  I am not, however, satisfied that an extended sentence is necessary for the protection of the public in your case. 

Your sentence will be backdated to 3 July 2013”. 

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