HMA v GREGOR THOMSON

At the High Court in Glasgow on 10 February 2015, Lady Scott imposed an extended sentence of 10 years and three months on Gregor Thomson after the accused pled guilty to the attempted murder of Desmond McCart.

On sentencing, Lady Scott made the following statement in court:

“Gregor Thomson, you have pled guilty to the attempted murder of Mr Desmond McCart. Mr McCart had the misfortune of standing beside you in the taxi queue, after you had been drinking heavily. You got into an argument with him, struggled with him whereby he fell to the ground and you rendered him unconscious. Then ,as he lay defenceless on the ground you stepped back and ran at him and kicked him in the head three or four times. You were then seen to repeatedly jump and stamp on his head.

You ran away leaving your victim badly injured and bleeding heavily on the ground. He appeared to go into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. His life was in peril. In hospital he was found to have multiple facial and throat fractures and required 14 plates and the insertion of bars to align the jaw and to reconstruct his face. He has been left with permanent loss of sensation, blurred vision, loss of balance and restricted mobility. He needs a team of carers to help with the basics of everyday living –such as standing and walking. Unsurprisingly, your victim is traumatised and in need of significant support.

Mr McCart cared for his wife before this incident and you have also robbed his wife of that support. The victim impact statements I have read make clear his whole family has been left devastated.

At only 26 years of age you have a bad record, with some eight convictions for violence. This started with an assault when you were 13 years of age. In 2007 you were convicted of assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement and an assault and robbery; in 2008 another assault to severe injury and in 2014 a conviction for assault to injury. Your offending is related to your chronic alcohol problem.

You have been assessed as presenting a high risk of re-offending and having regard to this, to the vicious nature of this assault and you violent record I am satisfied that you pose a serious risk of harm to the public and an extended sentence is necessary. An extended sentence consists of the appropriate term of imprisonment and an extension period whereby your release on licence is extended for that period. The effect is that, if, during that period, if you breach the conditions of your licence, your licence may be revoked and you may be recalled to prison by the Scottish Ministers, with or without consultation with the Parole Board. 

I sentence you to a total sentence of 10 years and three months of which the custody period will consist of seven years and three months – reduced from 11 years to reflect your early plea, backdated to 1st October 2014 – and to a three years period of extended licence.”