HMA v ANDREW WHITEFORD

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 20 January 2015, Lord Uist imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction on Andrew Whiteford with a punishment part of three years and four months imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assault and robbery.

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

“Andrew John McGavin Whiteford, you pleaded guilty at Glasgow High Court on 28 October last year to the crime of assault and robbery, committed at the Co-op store in Kelloholm on 16 August last year. You entered the shop with your hood up, assaulted the female assistant there by brandishing a knife at her, pulled the till drawer open and demanded money from her and robbed her of £300. You were detained by the police the following day and initially denied your guilt, but later admitted it and told them where you had discarded the knife. 

“You are now 31 years old. This is not your first conviction for assault and robbery. In 2002, when you were only 18 years old, you were sentenced to 10 years 6 months detention, reduced on appeal to eight years six months detention, for two charges of assault and robbery, one charge of assault and one charge of theft. In May 2006 you were sentenced to two years imprisonment for assault and robbery. In May 2011 you received an extended sentence consisting of a custodial term of four years and an extension period of four years for assault and robbery with a knife in the same shop. You were released from that sentence on 5 November 2013 and still subject to it when you committed this crime. It seems that nothing will stop you committing armed robberies. You also have other convictions for assault and possession of an offensive weapon. You have abused drugs and have an anti-social personality disorder. 

In view of your deplorable record I called for a risk assessment report on you. The risk assessor, not surprisingly, has assessed you as being at high risk to the safety of the public at large. I am satisfied that the risk criteria are met in your case and 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 be released on licence. Had you been convicted by a jury after trial I would have imposed a sentence of 10 years imprisonment. As you pleaded guilty at an early stage that sentence would fall to be discounted to six years eight months imprisonment, thus entitling you to apply to be released on licence after having served in full a period of three years four months imprisonment. I therefore fix the punishment part of your sentence at three years four months imprisonment.

You must not assume that you will be released from prison at the end of that period: you will be released only when it is considered no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison. The sentence which I have imposed will run from today’s date.”