HMA v Ross Taggart

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lord Uist sentenced Ross Taggart to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 18 years, after the accused was found guilty of the murder of his mother, Carol Anne Taggart.

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

“Ross Taggart, you have been convicted by the unanimous verdict of the jury of the terrible crime of the murder of your mother, a woman who did a great deal, indeed probably too much, for you in the course of her life.

In the course of an argument on 21 or 22 December last year you caused her head injuries and throttled her to death. You thereafter embarked on a calculated course of deceit by reporting her as missing to the police and persistently lying about your actions.

Within hours of having taken your mother’s life you accessed a dating website on the internet and arranged for later that day a casual sexual encounter with a woman previously unknown to you.

You wrapped your mother’s body in linen from the house and caravan which she owned, tied together with twine from your bedroom in the caravan, and placed it in the void under the wooden stairway to a nearby caravan, where it was discovered by the police on 11 January this year.

You have shown no regret or remorse and even continued to deny your involvement before the jury in the face of overwhelming and unanswerable evidence against you. Your response to the evidence against you was at times ludicrous. How you have lived with your conscience since you murdered your mother I do not know.

The sentence for murder is fixed by law and I must now impose that sentence on you. I sentence you to imprisonment for life.

I must also fix the punishment part of your sentence, which is the period you must spend in full in prison in order to satisfy the requirements of punishment and deterrence before you can even apply to the Parole Board for Scotland to be released on licence.

In fixing that period I take into account not only the circumstances of the murder itself but also your conduct thereafter as set out in charge 2, on which I formally admonish you.

I fix the punishment part of your sentence at 18 years. You must not assume that you will automatically be released at the end of 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.

Your sentence will run from 14 January 2015.”