HMA v Robert Scott

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 26 January 2016, Judge Arthurson QC sentenced Robert Scott to five years imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assault to severe injury and danger of life.

On sentencing, Judge Arthurson made the following statement in court:

"Robert Scott, you have tendered a plea of guilty on a section 76 indictment to a single charge of assault to severe injury and danger of life, an offence committed while on a very recent bail order granted in respect of a number of different cases.

You have four previous convictions on indictment at sheriff and jury level dating from 1992, 1995, 2004 and 2012. Most significantly, in 2004 you were convicted of assault to injury and danger of life, receiving a sentence of 18 months imprisonment, and in 2012 you were convicted of contravening the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, section 49(1) (possession of a knife), receiving a sentence of two years imprisonment. I have counted eight separate offences of violence within your record, which itself runs from 1992 to 2015, and includes 48 separate groups of previous convictions. You have been sentenced to periods of imprisonment on 24 occasions. You have been made subject to the following community based disposals: probation, DTTO (drug treatment and testing order), community payback order and restriction of liberty order. You were on four deferred sentences and a community payback order when you committed this offence. 

The offence for which the court must sentence you today demonstrates a significant escalation in your violent offending. The offence took place at 6.15pm in a public place in the centre of Edinburgh. You deliberately broke a bottle in order to carry out your attack on your victim, albeit you only struck one blow with your weapon. The wounds which you inflicted upon the complainer were nothing short of horrific. You caused significant damage over a large area around the neck and in particular to the external jugular vein. I note that 8 staples required to be inserted into one wound and 15 into the other wound. But for prompt hospital treatment, which included exploratory surgery, these injuries would undoubtedly have been life-threatening.  

You were remanded in custody on 12 November 2015 when you first appeared on petition in connection with this charge. You have pled guilty at the earliest possible opportunity and will receive a full discount for having done so. There is a significant utility in your plea of guilty. I have further taken into account the helpful and frank submissions of your counsel, Mr Paterson, advanced on your behalf in mitigation this morning, and in particular his comments pertaining to your personal circumstances.  

In all the circumstances you will well appreciate that the only appropriate disposal in your case is a substantial custodial sentence. You are sentenced therefore to 5 years (60 months) imprisonment, backdated to 12 November 2015; 4 months of that period is attributable to the recent bail aggravation libelled. But for the timing of your plea, the tariff would have been 7 years and 6 months (90 months) imprisonment."  

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