HMA v LIAM DOCHERTY & JOHN ALEXANDER YOUNG

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Uist sentenced Lim Doherty and John Young after they pled guilty to assault and attempted robbery.

On sentencing Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

“You have both pleaded guilty to the assault and attempted robbery of the owner of a convenience store in the High Street in Dysart on 30 October last year while you were on bail. You were both masked with balaclavas and brandished machetes, threatened to kill him and demanded money from him. This was clearly a planned crime although you did not succeed in carrying out the intended robbery. The shop owner, Mr Aslam, must have been terrified by your conduct and I am told that he has suffered stress and sleeplessness as a result of the incident. Lawlesss conduct of this nature cannot be tolerated and must be severely punished.

Your criminal records disclose that you are both habitual criminals. You Liam Docherty have many convictions for crimes of dishonesty, as well as some convictions for assault, and have received custodial sentences on several occasions. You had been released from prison only 9 days before you committed this crime. You John Alexander Young have many convictions for crimes of dishonesty, disorder, possession of offensive weapons and violence, have been sentenced to custody on several occasions and were subject to a drug treatment and testing order. Your last sentence, from which you were released on 15 August last year, is not due to expire until 4 August 2015. It is clear that only lengthy custodial sentences will have the effect of protecting the public from criminal activities of both of you.

In your case Liam Docherty, had you been convicted by a jury after trial, I would have imposed on you a sentence of 6 years 6 months imprisonment, 6 months of which would have been attributable to the bail aggravation. As you have pleaded guilty at an early stage that sentence will be discounted to 4 years 4 months imprisonment and will commence on the expiry of all sentences previously imposed.

In your case John Alexander Young I shall order that you be returned to prison to serve  14 months of the unexpired portion of your last sentence and direct that that period will be served before and be followed by the sentence which I am about to impose for this crime. Had you been convicted by a jury after trial I would have imposed on you a sentence of 7 years 6 months imprisonment, 6 months of which would have been attributable to the bail aggravation. As you have pleaded guilty at an early stage that sentence will be discounted to 5 years imprisonment”.