HMA v Gordon Martin Coventry

At the High Court in Dunfermline today, 10 April 2017, Lord Uist sentenced Gordon Coventry to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 20 years after the accused was found guilty of the murder of Darren Adie.

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

“Gordon Martin Coventry, you have been convicted by the jury of the needless and unexplained murder by stabbing of Darren Adie, a 42 year old drunk man who was staggering about certain streets in Kirkcaldy waving his hands, on 28 May 2016.

This murder was committed in broad daylight in a public street and you immediately made off, disposed of the knife, your clothes and your mobile telephone.

The knife penetrated the outer chest wall, fractured the left sixth rib, entered the chest cavity and penetrated the left lung and heart of your victim. Its total depth was approximately six inches.

You are now 52 years old and have a serious criminal record, which includes two High Court convictions and two convictions on indictment in the sheriff court.

In August 1987 you were convicted of assault to severe injury in the sheriff court and fined £500.

In June 1995 you were sentenced in the High Court to five years’ imprisonment for drugs offences and received a concurrent sentence of three years imprisonment for the crime of abduction.

In May 2000 you were sentenced in the High Court to five years’ imprisonment for possession of a prohibited weapon under the Firearms Act.

In March 2011 you were sentenced in the sheriff court to two years’ imprisonment for possession in public of a cosh and a sharp object.

You are obviously a career criminal. The convictions for violence indicate that you are a dangerous man.

The sentence for murder is fixed by law and I must now impose that sentence on you. I sentence you to imprisonment for life.

I must also fix the punishment part of your sentence, being the period which you must serve in full in prison to satisfy the requirements of retribution and deterrence, ignoring the need for the protection of the public, before you can apply to be released on licence.

Having regard to the circumstances of this murder and to your previous convictions for violence and possession of offensive weapons, I fix that period at 20 years.

You must not assume that you will automatically be released at the end of that period: you will be released only when it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison. Your sentence will run from 24 June 2016.”