HMA v MYLES GIBSON SIMPSON

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 1 October 2014, Lord Uist sentenced Myles Simpson to a punishment part of three years and imposed an order for lifelong restriction after the accused pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman and threatening to stab her in the eye.

On sentencing, Lord Uist made the following statement in court: 

“Myles Gibson Simpson, you pleaded guilty at a first diet at Dundee Sheriff Court on 9 July 2013 to assaulting a woman at the Lily Walker Centre in Dundee by repeatedly pushing her to the floor and punching her on the face to her injury and presenting a syringe with an uncapped needle at her and threatening to stab her in the eye. The sheriff remitted you to this court for sentence because he considered that any sentence he could competently pronounce was inadequate and also because it appeared to him that the risk criteria may be met. 

The place where the offence was committed was a homeless unit and your victim was a woman who had problems with both drugs and alcohol. She and you had been drinking in a pub and she left and returned to the Lily Walker Centre. You later returned there also, said she had stolen money from you, stormed along the corridor, banged on her door and entered her room. You then put both hands on her chest and pushed her to the floor, shouted about a missing £40, pushed her down again when she tried to get up, punched her on the face, picked up a hypodermic syringe with an uncapped needle and held it close to her head, threatening to stab her in the eyeball. Others arrived and dragged you off. You later told the police officers who arrested you ‘She’d better watch out for when I’m released tomorrow’. As a result of your attack upon her she had swelling to the bridge of her nose and some minor cuts to her face and left hand. 

You are now 51 years old. You have a very lengthy record of previous convictions dating from July 1982 and have been sentenced to custody on many occasions. You have convictions for 9 offences of assault, all but one of which resulted in a sentence of imprisonment. Of particular note are your convictions on indictment. On 4 September 2006 you were sentenced to 1 month imprisonment for assault committed while on bail and 12 months imprisonment for assault to severe injury committed while on bail. You were sentenced to 20 months imprisonment from 16 March 2012 for assault to injury and permanent disfigurement. You were still subject to the unexpired portion of that sentence when you committed this offence. 

I must first determine whether the risk criteria are met in your case, that is, whether the nature of, or the circumstances of the commission of, the offence to which you pleaded guilty either in themselves or as part of a pattern of behaviour are such as to demonstrate that you, if at liberty, will seriously endanger the lives, or physical or psychological well-being, of members of the public at large. In so determining I have considered all the reports with which I have been furnished and the evidence which I have heard today from the risk assessor, Dr Lorraine Johnstone, and the consultant psychiatrist Dr John Baird. It is accepted on your behalf that you meet the risk criteria at the present time. The question for me is what the likelihood is of your meeting them when at liberty at the end of any fixed sentence to be imposed. I am satisfied, on the basis of all the material I have considered, but particularly the report of and evidence from Dr Johnstone and the two reports from the forensic psychologist Vicky Orme, that such a likelihood has been established and that the risk criteria are met in your case. 

I therefore make an order for lifelong restriction in respect of you. That order constitutes a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period. I must also fix the punishment part of your sentence, being the period which you must spend in full in prison before you can apply to the Parole Board for Scotland to be released on licence. Had I been imposing a fixed sentence I would, in view of the circumstances of this offence and your previous record for violence, have imposed a sentence of six years imprisonment, which would entitle you to apply for release on licence after having served three years in prison. I therefore fix the punishment part of your sentence at three years. You must not assume that you will be released after having served that period: you will be released only when the Parole Board for Scotland is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison. That sentence will run from 22 March 2013. In view of the fact that I have imposed an order for lifelong restriction I shall not order you to serve any part of the unexpired portion of your last sentence.”