HMA v David Gordon

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 6 June 2018, Lord Ericht sentenced David Gordon to five years and four months' imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assaulting a dock escort and a police officer while attempting to escape from custody.

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

“This court does not tolerate violence in court buildings. Dock escorts and police officers are entitled to do their jobs without being assaulted. 

“You planned a violent escape from Stirling Sheriff Court using a dangerous weapon which would not be detected by security scanners. You put your plan into execution in a violent attack on the dock escort and the police officer who came to her aid. 

“This court thanks the dock escort Michelle Davies and PC Gregor Cameron for the bravery which they showed in foiling the escape in the face of clear and present danger and danger to PC Cameron’s life. 

“I have considered carefully what has been said on your behalf today and the contents of the psychological report instructed on your behalf. I have also taken into account your extensive criminal record. 

“However our system of justice in Scotland cannot operate if accused persons behave in court buildings in the way you did. It is necessary to impose a lengthy custodial sentence. 

“Charge 1 is a charge of having an offensive weapon in a public place. Had it not been for your early plea of guilty, I would have sentenced you to a period of imprisonment of 18 months. However, in light of that plea I sentence you to a period of imprisonment of one year.  

“That sentence will be concurrent with the sentence I am about to impose on charges 2 3 and 4 and will be consecutive to the total period of imprisonment to which you are already subject. 

“Charge 2 is a charge of attempt to pervert the course of justice. Charge 3 is a charge of assaulting the dock escort and Charge 4 is a charge of assaulting the police officer to his injury and to the danger of his life. All of these arise out of the same event so I will impose a cumulo sentence.  

“Had it not been for your early plea of guilty, I would have sentenced you to a period of imprisonment of eight years. However, in the light of that plea I sentence you to a period of imprisonment of five years and four months. 

“That sentence will be concurrent with the sentence I have just imposed on charge 1 and will be consecutive to the total period of imprisonment to which you are already subject.”