HMA v Ross Torrance

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 23 March 2017, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Ross Torrance to four years and eight months imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assault and robbery.

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

“Ross Torrance, you have pleaded guilty to the assault and robbery at a service station in December of last year.

You confronted a woman working alone in the premises late at night while carrying two meat cleavers and with your face masked.

Having seen one of the meat cleavers in court it is a formidable and frightening weapon.

The lady you assaulted was not unnaturally distressed after the event.

I have no information on what lasting effect this experience may have had but it is not difficult to imagine that it must have been pretty terrifying.

Your record includes a conviction for assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement in which you used a meat cleaver, a number of other assaults as well as possession of an offensive weapon namely a baseball bat for which you were sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.

I have listened to everything that has been said on your behalf. I am told that yours is a life blighted by alcohol and drugs but that you have now identified that you have a problem.

You have sought counselling and appear to be willing to address some of the underlying problems.

I take into account your expressions of remorse and concern for the complainer.

You have pleaded guilty at the earliest stage and I will reflect that in discounting the sentence.

However it must be clearly understood that people who work in the retail sector, particularly those who work alone late at night will be protected by the courts as best as we can.

Accordingly the sentence that I pass must reflect not only the need to punish you but to deter others.

Had you been convicted after trial I would have imposed a sentence of seven years imprisonment. In view of the plea I shall discount that to four years eight months.

I shall backdate the sentence to 12 December 2016.”