HMA v Ross Nicholson

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 16 February 2017, Lady Scott sentenced Ross Nicholson to 14 years' imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to the murder of Brian Martin.

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

“Ross Nicholson, there is only one sentence fixed by law which I can apply namely life imprisonment.

In addition I require to fix the custody part of that sentence which is the period you must remain in custody before you become entitled to apply for parole.

This was a sustained and brutal murder. You tied up your victim and rendered him defenceless and you then attacked him repeatedly and forceful with a knife and table leg.

He was left with many, many injuries including the severance of three out of four of the major blood vessels in his neck.

After wards you occupied the victim’s flat, used his possessions and you deflected and lied to visitors about the whereabouts of the deceased including his sister, whilst all the while your victim lay dead in the flat under a pile of rubbish you had covered him with.

You have robbed a family of a much loved son, brother and uncle. The family are left devastated and in particular the sister of your victim who was close to him.

I take into account that you have no significant violence in your record and your previous convictions and, in part, this offence is rooted in your long standing heroin addiction.

I have been persuaded by your counsel to give you a higher discount than is normally applied in a murder case. A discount is based upon the utilitarian value of an early plea – here that is significant having regard to the fact you sought to plead and to take responsibility for murder at the outset.

I sentence you to a punishment part of your life sentence of 14 years, reduced from 18 years, to reflect your early plea, which sentence will be backdated to 21 November 2016.”