HMA v James Faulds

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 13 May 2019, Lord Pentland sentenced James Faulds to seven-and-half years’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assaulting a fellow prisoner to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life.

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

“James Faulds, you have pled guilty to committing a vicious attack on a fellow prisoner. You had armed yourself with an improvised weapon and deliberately slashed the victim across his neck with it at the conclusion of a religious service in Edinburgh prison. 

“The injury you inflicted had the potential to endanger the life of your victim, although fortunately he is expected to make a full recovery. It is likely that he will be left with some permanent scarring.

“You have a concerning record of previous offending, dating back to 2007. I note that you have previously been convicted of offences of violence involving use of a knife.

“You are currently subject to an order for lifelong restriction imposed in this court in 2011 for an offence of assault to severe injury using a knife.  Earlier this year you were convicted of possessing a bladed instrument in HMP Grampian on 29 March 2018.

“I have taken account of all that has been said on your behalf this morning.

“Having regard to the violent nature of the present offence and to your record of previous offending, there can be no doubt that the court must take a very serious view of this latest offence.  It seems to me that you are a highly dangerous man who presents a substantial risk to public safety and to the safety of other prisoners.

“Had I been sentencing you after trial, I would have imposed a sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment taking account of the period you spent on remand for the present offence between 16 May 2018 and 25 March 2019 when you were convicted of the offence committed in Grampian prison.

“In view of your guilty plea in the present proceedings, which was first tendered at a preliminary hearing, I shall reduce this to a term of imprisonment of seven years and six months.

“I will order that the sentence I have imposed today will run consecutively to the sentence imposed in Aberdeen Sheriff Court on 25 March 2019.”