HMA v Jamie Baird and Luke Blackwood

At the High Court today, 8 March 2019, Lord Clark sentenced Jamie Baird to an extended sentence of 12 years’ duration and imposed an extended sentence of eight-and-a-half years on Luke Blackwood, after the two accused were convicted of assault and armed robbery.

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

“Jamie Baird and Luke Blackwood, you committed very serious crimes of assault and robbery while using parts of a firearm and an imitation firearm.

“These weapons were presented by you, with your faces masked, at members of staff in various retail premises. This caused them great alarm and indeed the impact on at least one of them has been severe and enduring.

“The things stolen by you were relatively small amounts of money and tobacco, but the manner in which the crimes were committed was deeply disturbing.

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

“Jamie Baird, the CCTV footage played in the course of the trial shows two armed robberies committed by you alone, entering a bookmakers and then a shop, producing an imitation firearm and demanding money from those behind the counter.

“The CCTV footage also showed two further armed robberies – in petrol stations – which you carried out, again using your imitation firearm, along with Luke Blackwood.

“Your imitation firearm was a revolver, which had the appearance of a real gun and was easily capable of being viewed as such and hence causing the same degree of fear and alarm.

“You were convicted of carrying out these four armed robberies and also of a number of charges of possession of a firearm or imitation firearm while committing these crimes, and in your flat. You committed all of the offences while on bail.

“I note that your criminal record shows a large number of previous convictions, including several convictions for assault, although you have not yet received a custodial sentence. The present offences, which you continue to deny having committed, represent a troubling escalation of your criminal behaviour.

“I have had regard to all that has been said on your behalf this morning. I have also considered and taken into account the terms of the criminal justice social work report.

“Having regard to your offending history and to the present offences, and to the terms of the report, I have a concern to seek to ensure that the public is adequately protected from serious harm by you when you are eventually released. I shall therefore impose on you an extended sentence.

“The first part of the sentence is a period of imprisonment. In relation to each one of charges 1, 3, 7 and 13, had I been sentencing you for the offence in the particular charge on its own, I would have imposed a custodial term of five years. If these sentences were made consecutive that would result in an aggregate sentence which is excessive.

“I intend therefore to impose a single cumulo custodial part of your extended sentence which reflects the totality of the criminality concerned in respect of these four charges. That is a sentence of nine years’ imprisonment. Six months of that sentence is imposed because you committed these offences while on bail. That is the custodial part of your extended sentence.

“But that period of imprisonment is not the end of your sentence. The second part of your extended 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. Your extended sentence is therefore one of 12 years, nine years of which is the custodial part.

“On each one of other charges which relate to possession of a firearm or imitation firearm at the time of committing the offences, or to having possession at the times and places mentioned without a firearms certificate and without authority (charges 2, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 15) I sentence you to 18 months; imprisonment. For each of these charges, three months of the sentence is attributable to the fact that it was committed while you were bail.

“The sentences on those charges will each run concurrently with one another and with the extended sentence. The sentences will be backdated to 8 June 2018, when you were first remanded in custody.

“Luke Blackwood, at the preliminary hearing, you tendered a plea of guilty to carrying out two armed robberies along with Jamie Baird and to several charges of having possession of a firearm or imitation firearm at the time of committing the robberies. That plea was in due course accepted by the Crown.

“The CCTV footage of the armed robberies in the two petrol stations showed you adopting the stance of someone prepared to shoot, holding the shotgun barrels at shoulder level and pointing at one of the staff, while Jamie Baird, holding his imitation revolver, demanded money and tobacco from the shop workers.

“While I take into account that these shotgun barrels were not themselves capable of discharging ammunition, that is not a major factor. I say that because the manner in which they were held and pointed by you must have caused those who saw them to be deeply distressed and to suffer fear and alarm at much the same level as if the weapon had been capable of firing.

“You have several previous convictions for theft and, of particular significance, one previous conviction for armed robbery, on that occasion using a knife. You were sentenced to detention for a period of just over four years for that offence.

“Plainly, that has not deterred you from the even more concerning type of armed robbery to which you have now pled guilty.

“I have had regard to all that has been said on your behalf this morning. I have also considered and taken into account the terms of the criminal justice social work report. I note that you have accepted full responsibility for your actions and have expressed regret about the impact on the victims of your crimes.

“As I have a concern to seek 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.

“The first part of the sentence is a period of imprisonment.  In relation to each one of charges 7 and 13, had I been sentencing you for the offence in the particular charge on its own, having regard to your previous analogous conviction, I would have imposed a custodial term of five years and six months.

“If these sentences were made consecutive that would result in an aggregate sentence which is excessive. I intend therefore to impose a single cumulo custodial part of your extended sentence which reflects the totality of the criminality concerned in respect of these two charges.

“But for your guilty plea, that would have been a sentence of seven years and four months imprisonment. In the exercise of my discretion and in accordance with the normal practice in respect a guilty plea tendered at the preliminary hearing, I shall reduce your sentence by the standard amount. Your extended sentence is therefore one of eight years and six months, five years and six months of which is the custodial part.

“But that period of imprisonment is not the end of your sentence. The second part of your extended 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.

“On each one of the remaining charges (charges 9 and 15), which relate to possession of a firearm or imitation firearm at the time of committing the offences I sentence you to 15 months; imprisonment. The sentences on those charges will each run concurrently with one another and with the extended sentence.  

“The sentences will be backdated to 8 June 2018, when you were first remanded in custody.”