HMA v Paul Paterson

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 26 January 2017, Lady Rae sentenced Paul Paterson to 12 years’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to the attempted murder of a police officer.

On sentencing, Lady Rae made the following statement in court:

“Paul Paterson, you have pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a police officer. 

The officer was in uniform and was simply carrying out his public duty to protect the public, having been summoned to deal with a disturbance in the street. 

Quite properly, he instructed you to drop a pole which he saw you were holding but you ignored him. 

As a result he attempted to take hold of you and you responded by attacking him with a knife which was in your other hand and which the officer could not see. 

You repeatedly attempted to stab him on the body. Eventually, after a struggle of about three minutes, you were brought under control with the assistance of other officers. 

The officer was found to be seriously injured and it was no thanks to you that the injuries were not more serious.

I am of the view that this is an extremely serious charge standing the fact that you attacked and attempted to kill a police officer in the street by use of a knife.

In my view police officers fulfil a very important function in protecting all members of the public from harm. In many ways it is a dangerous occupation and they undertake those duties with bravery as did this officer. 

I am told you have a minor record of previous convictions which commenced in 2005 and that prior to that your history was ‘unremarkable’ to quote your counsel. I shall take into account your history as revealed to me but none of it can truly mitigate the level of violence which you displayed on this occasion.

Having regard to the serious nature of this charge and to the fact that you attempted to kill a police officer I intend to impose an exemplary sentence. In my view all those working for emergency services are entitled to expect protection from the courts.

I shall allow you a modest discount having regard to the stage at which you pled and that will be two years. 

But for the discount I would have imposed 14 years’ imprisonment. I shall reduce sentence to 12 years’ imprisonment, backdated to 27 April 2015 when you first remanded in custody.”