HMA v Gavin Riley

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 17 June 2016, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Gavin Riley to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 17 years, after the accused was convicted of the murder of William Gibb.

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

“Gavin Riley, on your own plea you have been convicted of the murder of William Gibb.

Having listened to the account of this dreadful act it is clear that you engaged in a prolonged and brutal assault on Mr Gibb. The injuries you inflicted on him are truly horrific and the details which his relatives had to listen to can only have increased the pain of their loss.

I have read the social work report and I note that you claim to have no recollection of what you did because of the level of your intoxication. While I accept that you were under the influence of alcohol and drugs, many people will find it hard to believe that you have no recollection of these events.

I have listened carefully to what Mr Jackson has said on your behalf. He tells me that you show remorse for what you have done and it is to your credit that you pled guilty at an early opportunity.

There is only one sentence that I can pronounce and that is that you will go to prison for life.

I am required by law to set a punishment part – that is the number of years that you will serve before you can apply to the parole board for release on licence. In considering any application the parole board will have to consider the protection of the public.

I note that the assessment in the social work report is that you pose the maximum risk to the public. If you are still considered a serious risk to the public when you apply for parole then you will not be released.

Had you been sentenced after trial the punishment part would have been 20 years. In view of the plea I shall discount that to one of 17 years backdated to 3 February 2016.”