HMA v David Hall

At the High Court in Glasgow today (22 August), Lady Rae sentenced David Hall to an extended sentence of 7 years, 6 months imprisonment with a further extended period of 5 years; after the offender pled guilty to a knife attack on a stranger trying to assist two women.

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

You have pleaded guilty to a number of charges on this indictment, the most serious of which was an assault with a knife to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of the life of a complete stranger to you. The victim was simply, and courageously in my view, trying to assist two women, one of whom you insulted and threatened with violence. You were in possession of two potential weapons, a hammer and a knife. The victim managed to disarm you of the hammer but you used the second weapon, the knife, to carry out a vicious attack and unprovoked attack upon him, boasting as you did so. 

Some time later you were arrested by police officers and you behaved in a disgraceful manner towards the officers who were merely carrying out their public duty.

You have an appalling record of 38 previous convictions covering a total of 78 offences, 8 of which were violent and 9 involved the carrying or use of weapons. In particular in June 2012, you were convicted in the High Court of Justiciary of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment and attempted robbery. You were sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. Unsurprisingly you have been assessed as a high risk offender.

I shall take into account all of what was said on your behalf, including your expressions of remorse and more particularly your early plea at a preliminary hearing. I shall therefore discount the sentence I would otherwise have imposed by a quarter. I shall backdate the sentences to 9 April 2018 when you were first remanded in custody. I am prepared, in view of the lengthy sentence I am about to impose on charge 5, to make all of the sentences concurrent.

The sentences will be:-

Charge 1 – 4 years imprisonment reduced to 3 years to represent the early plea;

Charge 2 – 2 years reduced to 18 months;

Charge 5 – In view of the serious risk of violence you clearly present to the public, I shall impose an extended sentence. The custodial element would have been 10 years imprisonment but I shall reduce that to 7 years and 6 months. That will be extended by a further 5 years post release supervision.

Charge 6 – 18 months reduced to 14 months.”