HMA v Jamie Anderson

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 21 March 2019, Lord Arthurson sentenced Jamie Anderson to nine years’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to the culpable homicide of Paul Mathieson.

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

“Jamie Anderson, you have today, on the fourth day of the float of a ten day floating trial which has been appointed by the court in this case, been convicted on your own plea of the extremely grave crime of culpable homicide.  

“Shortly after midnight on 14 January 2018, you carried out a violent attack upon Paul Mathieson, aged 37, in a public street in Renfrew, punching him on the head, thereby causing him to fall to the ground, and thereafter kicking him and repeatedly punching him on the head and neck, as a result of which he was so severely injured that he in due course died in hospital on 20 January 2018.  

“Mr Mathieson died as a result of the blunt force trauma of his head and neck which you inflicted and for which you are criminally responsible.  

“The post mortem report which was prepared by two forensic pathologists characterises the trauma to Mr Mathieson’s head and neck as severe blunt force trauma.  

“The CCTV footage of the incident which has been played in court today, although it is of poor quality, is in my view consistent with that forensic medical opinion.

“You then left the scene of your crime, and, when you were traced as part of the extensive police enquiries undertaken in this case, you declined even to provide a statement.

“Following  considerable further investigations into this case, all as narrated in the agreed narrative which has been set out for the court by the advocate depute for the Crown, you were arrested on 29 May 2018, appeared in court on 30 May 2018 and have since that date been remanded in custody in respect of this offence.

“At the age of 36 you already have accrued 23 groups of prior convictions and served in total eight custodial sentences. You committed the offence on the present indictment while subject to two community payback orders with supervision and unpaid work requirements, each imposed in 2017.  

“You have no convictions for violence within your record, but on my count have been convicted on five occasions for the possession of bladed weapons in a public place.

“I have listened carefully to everything that has been said on your behalf today by your senior counsel in the course of his helpful submissions in mitigation. In particular I note his observations concerning the offence itself, the background to and utility of your guilty plea and your whole personal circumstances, and I propose to take all of these submissions into account in selecting a suitable disposal in your case.

“I should add that I have further considered and taken into account the three victim impact statements which have been tendered by the Crown in this case. It is plain from that consideration that the loss to Mr Mathieson’s family caused by your criminal conduct will be severe and long-lasting.

“You will appreciate of course that for a crime of this gravity only a custodial sentence of a significant duration can be appropriate.  The multiple injuries which Mr Mathieson sustained to his head and neck, occasioning the severe blunt force trauma from which he later died, are entirely your responsibility, and on the whole facts of this case I assess your culpability as falling within the higher end of the relevant spectrum thereof, albeit of course short of the crime which has been to date libelled against you on this indictment, namely that of murder.

“In these circumstances, I now accordingly sentence you on this indictment as follows. You will serve a period of imprisonment of nine years, discounted from a period of 10 years due to the timing of your plea and the history in general terms of this case. This sentence will be backdated to 30 May 2018, being the date of your initial remand in custody in respect of this offence.”

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