HMA v David Taylor

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 23 August 2018, Lord Pentland imposed an extended sentence of seven years and eight months on David Taylor after the accused pled guilty to armed robbery. The custodial period will be four years and eight months, which will be followed by an extension period of three years on licence.

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

“David Taylor, you have pled guilty to a very serious offence in which you pointed a hand gun at an employee in the check-out area of a branch of Scotmid, cocked the weapon, and robbed him of a sum of money and some tobacco. You were wearing a cap and had your hood up.

“The experience of being suddenly confronted by an assailant pointing at him what could have been a loaded firearm must have been a terrifying one for your victim.

“You have a bad criminal record extending to offences of dishonesty and disorder, breaches of court orders and notably a previous conviction in this court for assault and attempted robbery. Whilst the pattern and frequency of your offending had decreased in recent times, the present offence represents a troubling escalation.

“I take account of all that has been said on your behalf today and of the contents of the criminal justice social work report.

“It is concerning that the immediate background to the present offence was that you took a large amount of street valium before obtaining the weapon you used in the incident.

“Whilst I acknowledge that you faced certain challenges in your life at the time, particularly in regard to your employment circumstances, these factors cannot excuse your deliberate decision to commit the robbery.

“I take account of your expressions of regret and of the fact that you appear to have some degree of insight into the serious effects of your conduct on the shop keeper and others, including children, who were in the shop at the time.

“In view of your extensive criminal record, your drug taking, the gravity of the present offence and your apparent difficulty in controlling your behaviour, I am satisfied that an extended sentence is necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm.

“The first part of this will be custodial. Had you not pled guilty this would have been for a term of seven years. In view of your early plea, I shall discount this to four years and eight months.

“The second part of the extended sentence will be for three years. During that time you will be subject to a licence whilst in the community.

“The conditions of the licence will be designed to ensure that you are adequately supervised, monitored and supported with a view to your rehabilitation and reintegration. If you breach any of the licence conditions, you are liable to be recalled to prison.

“I shall backdate the extended sentence to 23 April 2018.”