HMA v Ryan Currie

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 25 January 2018, Lord Beckett sentenced Ryan Currie to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 16 years after the accused was found guilty of the murder of Kirk Cole.

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

“Ryan Currie, you have been found guilty of murder and the punishment is fixed by law. You will be sentenced to life imprisonment.

“I have to fix a period of time which you must serve in custody before being considered for parole. In fixing this period, known as a punishment part, I must reflect the need to punish you for the crime of murder and to deter you and others from committing murder. In fixing the punishment part of your sentence the law says that I must ignore the risk that you may pose to the public in the future.

“This does not mean that you will serve just this period. It will be for the Parole Board to determine when it is safe for you to be released from prison. The question of parole cannot arise before the punishment period has passed.

“In fixing this period I must take account of the seriousness of the crime of murder of which you have been convicted, combined with the other offence on the indictment and your record of previous convictions.

“I take into account that you haven’t been in the High Court before. I also take account of the evidence from an independent witness of how the incident began but I must note also that the jury rejected provocation.

“The infliction of a large number of stabbing injuries is an aggravating circumstance. I take account of your previous convictions and note that you have been convicted of having a knife in a public place in 2006 and an offensive weapon in the form of a bottle in 2007, both on sheriff court indictment. In 2010, on sheriff court indictment, you were sentenced to detention for two years for assault to injury.

“Counsel’s observation may be fair comment when he said that perhaps both you and Mr Cole were both in the wrong place at the wrong time but the fact is, that in a state of drink and drug fuelled intoxication, you used a knife to fatal effect.

“A family has been deprived of a much loved brother, uncle and son and his daughter will have no chance now of forming a relationship with her father.

“Taking account of the whole circumstances, the punishment part on charge 1 will be one of 16 years. This period of 16 years is backdated to 30 June 2017 when you were remanded in custody.

“I will impose a separate sentence of three years imprisonment’ on charge 3, concurrent with the punishment part, also backdated to 30 June 2017.

“This does not mean that this is a sentence of 16 years. You are sentenced to life imprisonment and you will serve at least 16 years before you can be considered for release on parole. It will be for the Parole Board to determine when you will ultimately be released and they will have regard to the safety of the public in reaching that decision.”