HMA v DANIEL ALASTAIR PAITA

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Stewart imposed an extended sentence of 16 years on Daniel Paita after he was covicted of the attempted murder of Barry Divers. The custodial part of the sentence will be 11 years followed by an extension period on licence of 5 years.

On sentencing Lord Stewart made the following statement in court:

“DANIEL ALASTAIR PAITA  on 26 November 2013 in the High Court at Glasgow you were convicted after trial by a majority verdict of the jury of the attempted murder of Barry Carrol Divers by slashing his neck with a knife or similar instrument. The wound sliced his external jugular vein and he would have bled to death if it had not been for the prompt medical attention which he received.

On the basis of the evidence led at trial this was a calculated attack. You arranged to meet your victim, you waited for him to arrive, you shook his hand and as he turned away you slashed his neck from behind. Given the verdict and the circumstances disclosed by the evidence I infer that it was your deliberate intention to kill Barry Divers. The meeting was arranged by a mutual acquaintance who, it was suggested during your defence, was a drug dealer. The reasons for the animosity between you and your victim were not clarified by the evidence and to say any more about that would be speculation.           

I calculated that you have been convicted on 44 previous occasions. It is fair to say that many of these convictions have been for relatively minor offences which do not involve personal violence: but a few convictions involve assault or assault and robbery and the possession of bladed or pointed weapons. You have served several terms in custody the longest of which was 21 months imposed on 24 September 2010 and backdated to 7 June 2010.   Your most recent conviction on 24 December 2012 is a conviction for a number of offences on indictment in the Sheriff Court at Glasgow. The conviction was in respect of a statutory charge of racially aggravated harassment, two charges of assault with racial aggravation and one charge of assault to severe injury with racial aggravation. A cumulo sentence of 20 months imprisonment was imposed backdated to 20 August 2012. I am told that, in respect of the 21 month sentence imposed on 24 September 2010, you were released on 21 April 2011 with an expiry date of 6 March 2012. Accordingly you were on early release when the present offence was committed. In respect of the 20 month sentence imposed on 24 December 2012 you were released on 19 June 2013 with an expiry date of 19 April 2014.

You were arrested in respect of the present offence on your return from Spain on 5 April 2012 and bailed on 13 April 2012. On 29 August 2012 you were remanded in custody in respect of the offences which led to the conviction of 24 December 2012. You have been on release from that sentence since 19 June 2013 and were apparently at liberty until I remanded you in custody on your conviction on 26 November 2013.

My clerk has calculated that the unexpired portion of the sentence imposed on 24 September 2010 is ten days and having given consideration to that I have determined not to make a return order in terms of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings Scotland Act 1993 s. 16. As regards the sentence imposed on 24 December 2012 in respect of which you have now been released on licence I am prevented by the Criminal Procedure Scotland Act 1995 s. 204A from making any sentence now to be imposed consecutive to that sentence.

The social work report which is now available assesses you as “high risk of causing harm”. The report states that the present offence with previous behaviour together show “a concerning and increasing pattern of violent behaviour”.  A custodial sentence is stated to be the only viable option with a suggestion that an extended sentence may also be appropriate.

Having regard to the terms of the report, the well-judged plea in mitigation on your behalf by Mr Ross today, to the evidence heard at trial and to all other circumstances brought to my attention I shall impose an extended sentence of sixteen years in terms of section 210A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, comprising a custodial term of eleven years and an extension period of five years to commence on 26 November 2013 the date when you were remanded following conviction. I have had regard to the fact for the purposes of section 210 the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 that you spent a few days in custody when initially remanded”.

         

 

           

 

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