HMA v Gordon Ayre

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 11 January 2018, Lord Woolman sentenced Gordon Ayre to four years imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and endangering life and to a breach of bail conditions. On sentencing Lord Woolman made the following statement in court:

Until August 2017, you were in a relationship for about seven years. You and your partner not only lived together, you also worked together in the same business. On 2 August, you were both at work. She told you that she was ending the relationship.

You asked her for a last hug. You then, however, struck her repeatedly with a knife. Despite her pleas for you to stop, you continued the attack. Others had to pull you away.

 In mitigation, I take into account everything set out in the CJSWR and mentioned by Mr Martin this morning. In particular, I have regard to the following facts:

  1. You have no prior convictions.
  2. You were under great emotional stress at the time.
  3. You have since taken full responsibility and expressed regret.
  4. You had a very difficult upbringing.
  5. You have suffered from health issues throughout your adult life.
  6. You have in general a low risk of re-offending.

 Principally, however, I must have regard to the nature of the offence and the harm it caused. You struck your partner at least seven times with the knife. That is a very serious crime. As a result of the attack, she sustained puncture wounds to her left breast, abdomen, and left arm. She also suffered a laceration to her left middle finger. She has been left with permanent scars. It is fortunate that you do not appear on a more serious charge.

 If you had been found guilty after trial, I would have imposed a sentence of six years’ imprisonment. As you pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, I shall grant you a discount of one third. Accordingly, you will go to prison for four years. I shall backdate the sentence to 29 August 2017. That takes into account the seven days that you spent in custody before then.

 I admonish you in respect of the breach of the bail condition not to contact the victim.