HMA v Derek Docherty

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 18 August 2017, Lord Armstrong sentenced Derek Docherty to five years’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assault to severe injury.

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

“Derek Docherty, having original faced a charge of attempted murder, you have pleaded guilty to a charge of assault on the basis that, on 28 January 2017, while using a hammer as a weapon, you assaulted a person in what was, in effect, his own home at that time. 

“He sustained wounds to his severe injury, to his head and body, and required surgical treatment in consequence. In evidence, it was said that his head wounds required the insertion of 58 staples.

“You are a man of 29 years, who has accumulated a criminal record which extends from 2003 to June of last year. You have been sentenced on four previous occasions, in respect of some 12 previous convictions. 

“In 2004, a period of imprisonment was imposed on you by this court, the High Court, in respect of a conviction for assault to severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of life. Since then, and before this trial, you have been convicted of a further charge of assault.

“When you committed these crimes you were on licence, having been released, on 16 November 2016, from the sentence imposed on you in June 2016. In these circumstances, I have to consider whether or not to impose an order under section 16 of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993, the effect of which would be to return you to prison to serve the unexpired portion of that sentence.

“In the exercise of my discretion, having had regard to the date when you were released on licence, relative to the date of this offence, the date when your licence was spent, (today), the period of that sentence that was yet remaining, and the time you have since spent in custody on remand, I have decided, given the sentence I am about to impose, not to make such an order.

“I have noted carefully what has been said in mitigation on your behalf, and have taken into account the whole circumstances of the case as they have been related to me. I have taken account of the deletions made to the original charge.

“Having said that, I regard the fact that your victim was attacked by you in his home as an aggravation of the crime directed against him.

“I take into account the facts that this assault involved the use of a weapon, the nature of the injuries sustained by the man you attacked, in particular the fact that you used a hammer to inflict serious head injuries, including fractures of the skull, the fact that the incident took place in, what was in effect, your victim’s home, that he was already vulnerable, that you committed this crime when on licence, and the nature and extent of your criminal record.

“In the whole circumstances of the case, the sentence which I will now impose on you is one of a period of imprisonment of five years. That sentence will have effect from 31 January 2017, when you were first detained in custody in relation to this charge.”

Sentencing Statements

HMA v George Knowles

Friday, 6 December, 2019

HMA V Michael James Scott

Tuesday, 3 December, 2019

HMA v Alan McFadyen

Friday, 29 November, 2019

HMA V Graeme Morton Davidson

Friday, 15 November, 2019

HMA v Gareth Robertson

Wednesday, 13 November, 2019