HMA v Robbie Stewart Lowther

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 12 May 2015, Lord Uist sentenced Robbie Lowther to a custodial term of six years and eight months imprisonment followed by an extension period of five years on licence after the accused pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman to her severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of her life in a knife attack.

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

“Robbie Stewart Lowther, you pleaded guilty to a wholly unprovoked, and indeed inexplicable, attack with a knife on an entirely innocent woman who was a complete stranger to you as she walked home alone from a pub just after midnight.

This resulted in her severe injury and permanent disfigurement and caused danger to her life as her liver was pierced. It is clear from the victim impact statement which she has completed that the attack upon her has severely affected her life for the worse.

Such a crime must attract a lengthy sentence of imprisonment in order to punish you and to protect the public.

You are now 23 years old. Your criminal record discloses five previous court appearances, two of which involved convictions for unlawful possession of a knife. You were released from prison on 19 December 2014, two weeks before you committed this crime on 2 January 2015, when you must have been in possession of a knife once again to enable you to stab your victim. You have been diagnosed as suffering from an emotionally unstable personality disorder, impulsive type and alcohol dependence syndrome.

I am in no doubt that you are a dangerous man and that the public must be protected from you. I am satisfied that the requirements for the imposition of an extended sentence are met in your case and I intend to impose such a sentence upon you.

Had you been convicted by a jury after trial the custodial term of your sentence would have been 10 years imprisonment. As you pleaded guilty at an early stage that part of your sentence will be reduced to six years eight months imprisonment and will run from 8 February 2015. The extension period of your sentence, that is, the further period for which you will be subject to a licence, will be five years.”