HMA v Joseph George Bissett

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 19 February 2019, Lord Arthurson sentenced Joseph Bissett to six years’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assault and robbery.

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

“Joseph George Bissett, you have been convicted on your own plea this morning of two charges of assault and robbery, with the use of a weapon libelled in each charge, and of a further statutory charge of threatening and abusive behaviour in a shop, again with the involvement of a weapon libelled.

“Your first victim was a vulnerable male, your weapon being a metal pole, and your second victim was a shop assistant who was engaged in the course of her employment, whom you attacked by repeated blows to her head and body with a baseball bat.

“These offences are deplorable, and the only possible disposal in your case plainly requires to be a lengthy custodial one.

“Your criminal record discloses 48 groups of previous convictions spanning the years 1998 to 2017, and which include 17 prior sentences of imprisonment.

“All of your convictions to date are at summary level, and I note that only one is for a crime of violence, namely an assault while on bail in 2017, albeit I further note your conviction in 2013 for threatening and abusive behaviour, in which a weapon is libelled, namely a shovel.

“In these circumstances the crimes on the current indictment which the court must sentence you for today represent a considerable and concerning escalation in the nature and gravity of your offending.

“I have listened with care to the submissions in mitigation advanced on your behalf by your counsel this morning, and take all that he has said, in particular regarding your personal circumstances and background, and of course the background to the tendering of this plea, into account in imposing sentence upon you.

“In all of these circumstances I now sentence you as follows. On charges one and three, on an in cumulo basis, you will serve a sentence of imprisonment of six years, backdated to 26 October 2018, being the date of your initial remand in this case, discounted from a period of eight years due to the timing of your plea; and on charge four you will serve a concurrent sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, similarly backdated and discounted from a period of two years.”