HMA v Kieran Gates

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 19 December 2016, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Kieran Gates to an extended sentence of six years and six months imprisonment after the accused pleaded guilty to assault to sever injury with a knife. The custodial part will be four years and six months, which will be followed by an extension period of two years on licence.

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

“Kieran Gates, you inflicted a very nasty injury on Benjamin Faraguna by striking him on the face with a knife. He has been left with a prominent and permanent scar across his cheek. He had done nothing to deserve such treatment from you: he was merely walking home and had the misfortune to cross your path.

You have a short criminal record but all three convictions have resulted in a custodial sentence. The last two offences have been on indictment and both involved the use of a knife. On the last occasion you were made the subject of a supervised release order but have breached that on a number of occasions. It is clear that you present a danger to the public.

I have listened carefully to what was said on your behalf. I take account of the fact that you have pleaded guilty. I note that you have had an unhappy upbringing without any family support and that your life has been blighted by your dependence on drugs and alcohol. It is to your credit that you accept responsibility for your actions and do not use drink and drugs as an excuse.

This offence must be marked a by a significant prison sentence not only to mark society’s disapproval but also for the protection of the public. I hope however that you might use the time in prison to address the underlying issues in your life and in particular your reliance on drugs.

I will also impose an extended sentence to give you greater stability on your release and further address your offending behaviour. I trust that will give added protection to the public. You must understand however that you should use this time positively otherwise you will find yourself back before the court for breach of the licence conditions.

In respect of the unexpired portion of your previous sentence I shall make an order under s.16 of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings Act returning you to prison for a period of 150 days from today’s date.

In respect of this offence I shall sentence you to an extended sentence of six years six months of which the custodial part will be four years six months.

That sentence to be consecutive to the s. 16 order. Had you been convicted after trial the custodial part of that sentence would have been six years imprisonment.”