HMA v Gordon Harry Moffat

At the High Court in Livingston today, 13 April 2018, Lord Uist imposed an extended sentence of 12-and-a-half years on Gordon Moffat after the accused was found guilty of attempted murder. The custodial term will be 10 years and six months imprisonment, six months of which relates to a bail aggravation, which will be followed by an extension period of two years on licence.

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

“You were convicted by the jury at Edinburgh High Court of the attempted murder of Garry Moffat in Tarvit Street, Edinburgh on 28 September 2017 while acting along with another man by pursuing him, seizing his clothing and restraining him and repeatedly striking him on the head and body with a cleaver and a knife or knives or similar instruments, all to his severe injury, permanent impairment and permanent disfigurement. You were the subject of a bail order at the time you committed this crime.

“This was an outrageous and savage attack on your victim in a public street and clearly one which had been planned in advance.

“Almost all of it was recorded by closed circuit television cameras. It appears from the recording that you yourself were in possession of a cleaver or similar instrument and the other man was in possession of a knife.

“You and the other man obviously knew where your victim was to be found and armed yourselves in advance with a view to carrying out this attack upon him.

“You have said that you had heard that he had planned to rob you of your benefits payment and you decided to assault him to prevent him from robbing you. In subsequent text messages you boasted of what you had done to him.

“This disgracefully violent episode was an example of the law of the jungle in operation.

“As a result of the attack your victim was seriously injured. He suffered a full thickness scalp wound on the back of his head and multiple wounds to his left hand, including an almost complete amputation of his left index finger, a portion of which had to be surgically removed later. His middle finger is now bent as a result of damaged tendons.

“You are now 43 years old. You have been dealt with in the criminal courts on 24 occasions since 1995. Your longest sentence was one of four years imprisonment imposed on 15 February 2006 for being concerned in the supplying of a controlled drug. You were sentenced to 27 months imprisonment on 16 June 2009 for a similar offence. On 24 July 1995 you were sentenced to six months detention for theft.

“Most of your convictions involve drug related offending and associated dishonesty, but you also have two convictions for violence. On 16 December 1996 you were sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for assault to permanent impairment. On 28 June 2002 you were sentenced to three months imprisonment for assault to injury.

“You have a chronic drug problem and associate with other drug users. You have no employment history of any note and your daily life is unstructured.

“In my opinion you meet the requirements for the imposition of an extended sentence in order to protect the public from serious harm from you.

“The sentence which I impose is an extended sentence consisting of a custodial term of 10 years six months imprisonment, six months of which relates to the bail aggravation, and an extension period, during which you will continue to be subject to a licence, of two years. Your sentence will run from 2 October 2017.”