HMA v DEAN WILLIAMS

At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Matthews imposed an extended sentence of 13 years and 6 months on Dean Williams after he pled guilty to the culpable homicide of Craig Essen.

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:

“You pleaded guilty to the culpable homicide of Craig Essen in circumstances which Mr Kerrigan has quite properly described as appalling

Having consumed a considerable amount of alcohol, you armed yourself with a knife and made your way to the Rowantree Inn in what seems to have been an unfocussed jealous rage.

The combination of drink, jealousy and a weapon can be catastrophic, as the circumstances of this dreadful case prove.

A number of patrons of the pub, including the deceased, bravely tackled you and in the ensuing fracas you stabbed Mr Essen, resulting in his death. The fact that you sustained injuries is ultimately a consequence of your own deplorable behaviour.

Your comments at the time showed that you were only thinking of yourself but I take on board what Mr Kerrigan said, namely that you did not then appreciate what had happened. He has also told me of your remorse at what happened. He would not say that were it not the case and I accept it.

Your family will suffer as a result of the sentence which I have to impose but that pales into insignificance when compared to the anguish suffered by Mr Essen’s friends and family. The victim impact statements to which Mr Kerrigan referred make that plain. No sentence I can impose can undo that and nothing I do is meant in any way to be an accurate measure of Mr Essen’s worth.

The Criminal Justice Social Work report and your record make it plain that you have and have had a problem with anger and violence and I respectfully agree with Mr Kerrigan that an extended sentence is appropriate in your case to protect the public from serious harm on your release.

That sentence will be in two parts. The first will be a custodial element which will run from 26 November 2013. The second will be a period after your release when you will be subject to the conditions of a licence, breach of which may see you recalled to prison to serve the remainder of the sentence.

Having taken on board all of the circumstances, including everything ably said by Mr Kerrigan on your behalf, I have decided that had this matter gone to trial the custodial element would have been one of  14 years imprisonment but given the timing of your plea it will be restricted to 10 years and 6 months. The extension period will be three years so that the total period of the sentence is 13 years and 6 months to run, as I have said, from 26 November 2013".