HMA v Allan Peach

At the High Court in Glasgow on 31 January 2019, Lord Clark imposed an extended sentence of nine years on Allan Peach, after the accused pled guilty to making an improvised explosive device with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, or to enable any other person to do so. The custodial part will be six years, which will be followed by an extension period of three years on licence.

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

“Allan Peach, you have pled guilty to two serious crimes.

“The first is that you did make and have in your possession explosive substances, namely an improvised explosive device, commonly known as a pipe bomb, and the component parts and materials required to make a further nine pipe bombs, with intent to endanger life, or cause serious injury to property, or to enable any other person to do so.

“It is accepted in the agreed narrative that the powder in the pipe bomb, and the powder in your possession which could have been used to make the other pipe bombs, was poorly mixed and may not have functioned as expected – in essence, the powder did not ignite easily. Nevertheless, the bombs could have functioned.

“The second offence is that you had in your possession for sale or transfer, or did purchase or acquire for sale, a prohibited weapon namely quantities of incapacitating sprays, known as PAVA and CSA sprays, without having authority to do so.

“In relation to the PAVA and CSA sprays, you had a significant number of canisters (17) in your possession. But you did not only possess them - you advertised them for sale.

“There has been no suggestion of any involvement in terrorism. As your guilty plea to charge 1 recognises however, the purpose was your intent to endanger life, or damage property or enable others to do.

“I have not been given any real explanation about to whom and for what purpose you sought to sell the canisters of incapacitating sprays.

“Whatever your intentions, you made one potentially deadly device and had the materials for several others and you sought to trade in sprays used to incapacitate other human beings. I regard your conduct as deliberately creating substantial risks to people and property.

“These offences must therefore attract a custodial sentence of a level that will impose an appropriate punishment, mark the gravity of your crimes, and seek to deter you and others from such dangerous behaviour. The sentence must also be proportionate.

“I have had regard to all that has been said on your behalf. Further, I have taken into account the contents of the report of the consultant forensic psychiatrist, who assessed your mental health. I have also considered and taken into account the terms of the criminal justice social work report.

“I have also had regard to the very disturbing fact that in 2012 you were sentenced to three years imprisonment for culpable and reckless conduct involving use of an explosive device.

“As I have a concern to try to ensure that the public is adequately protected from serious harm by you when you are eventually released. I shall impose on you an extended sentence of nine years. The first part of the sentence is a period of imprisonment.

“In relation to charge 1, if you had been convicted after trial I would have imposed a custodial term of eight years. In relation to charge 2, had you been convicted after trial I would have imposed a custodial term of three years.

“While certain difference can be drawn between the offences, I view them as part of the same course of conduct, namely creating or acquiring dangerous items and weapons. The sentence on charge 2 will therefore run concurrently with that on charge 1. 

“I accept that your guilty plea was tendered at an early stage and has had utilitarian advantages in that a trial was avoided. 

“In view of your early plea, in the exercise of the discretion vested in me and in line with normal sentencing practice, I shall reduce the custodial part of the sentence to a custodial term of six years for charge 1 and a custodial term of 27 months for charge 2, to run concurrently.

“But that period of imprisonment is not the end of your sentence. The second part of your sentence will be served in the community.

“Following your release there will be an extension period of three years, during which you will be subject to certain conditions set by the Scottish Ministers. Breach of those conditions or the commission of further offences may see you sent back to prison to complete the remainder of your sentence.

“The sentence will be backdated to 10 September 2018, when you were first remanded in custody.”