HMA v Ralph Goldie

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 24 January 2019, Lord Matthews sentenced Ralph Goldie to six years and nine months’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to the culpable homicide of Jeremy Paradine. On sentencing, Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:

“You have pleaded guilty to the killing of your friend Jeremy Paradine in the circumstances set out in the agreed narrative and in what has been said by the Dean of Faculty on your behalf.

“You had both been drinking and then argued over the fact that he had taken his wife’s name off their tenancy; the odd thing being that their relationship had broken down and she had formed a relationship with you but all three of you lived together.

“You pushed him down the stairs and then kicked, stamped and jumped on him. The later assault caused a number of injuries, but what killed him was the fall as a result of the push, which caused brain injuries leading to death.

“I have read the criminal justice social work report and I take account of that, as well as the circumstances of the offence and everything said on your behalf.

“I note that you have a record for a variety of offences over the years, including several for violence.

“I accept that you have demonstrated remorse but there was no question of that at the time, given the continuing nature of the assault and the fact that you left him where he was.

“I have also read the impact statements from Mr Paradine’s mother and sister as well as from his wife. Nothing I can do can compensate for his death, which has affected them all deeply.

“Sentences for culpable homicide can vary greatly from admonition to very substantial prison sentences, depending on the circumstances.

“In your case I have decided that had the matter gone to trial I would have imposed a sentence of nine years’ imprisonment.

“The case has a somewhat convoluted history; you having been convicted of murder, which conviction was overturned on appeal.

“I am told by the Dean, and I obviously accept, that you had offered a plea to culpable homicide which was rejected by the Crown.

“In the circumstances, I will take account of the plea you have now offered and which you offered before by reducing the sentence to one of six years and nine months’ imprisonment to run from 16 January 2017.”