HMA v James Cameron

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 29 May 2018, Lady Scott imposed an extended sentence of seven-and-a-half years on James Cameron after the accused pled guilty to assaulting his then partner to her severe injury. The custodial period will be four-and-a-half years, which will be followed by an extension period of three years on licence.

On sentencing, Lady Scott made the following statement in court:

“James Cameron, you have pleaded guilty to the assault of your then partner by repeatedly punching and kicking her to the head and body to her severe injury.

“She was found with a bleeding head, sustained four fractures and had a severely swollen face, especially at her right eye. In addition you knew your victim was in a particularly vulnerable condition on the day of this attack. 

“The seriousness of this offence is due in large part to your history of violence. You are a man of 32 years of age with 17 convictions for violence; in particular, in 2016, convictions for serious violence against two previous partners for which you were sentenced to imprisonment and received a 10-year non-harassment order for both victims. You were on licence from these offences at the time of this attack which factor is a serious aggravation.

“The criminal justice and social work (CJSW) report suggests you minimise the violence you use and only feel sorry for yourself.  

“Given the serious nature of this assault and the recent pattern of violence against other female partners, I am satisfied that it is necessary and appropriate to impose an extended sentence because the period you would be subject to a licence otherwise would not be adequate for the purpose of protecting the public from serious harm.

“An extended sentence consists of the appropriate term of imprisonment and an extension period whereby your release on licence is extended for that period. This extended sentence may involve the application of the risk management measures which you must comply with.

“The effect is that, if, during that period, if you do not comply with the conditions of your licence, your licence may be revoked and you may be recalled to prison by the Scottish Ministers, with or without consultation with the Parole Board.

“I take into account your early plea and the significant reduction in the charge, as well as the period you have spent on remand.

“I sentence you to a total sentence of seven-and-a-half years, which consists of a period in custody for four-and-half years, reduced from a period of five years to reflect your early plea and an extended period on licence of three years. This sentence is backdated to 23rd November 2017.”