HMA v Paul McCann, Mark Moncrieff & Domenica Smith

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 16 August, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Paul McCann and Mark Moncrieff to life imprisonment with punishment parts of 18 and 20 years imprisonment respectively after the offenders were convicted of murder. Lord Boyd also deferred sentenced on Domenica Smith after the offender was convicted of assault.

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

On 9 July last year Brian Boyle was murdered. His daughter, who was also herself a victim of an assault by Domenica Smith, had to deal with the horror of seeing her father die before her. It is heart-breaking to read the account in her victim statement of watching her father die in her arms. The other statements from his partner, along with those of his mother and sister are equally painful to read.

Despite the criticisms that were made of her evidence she showed considerable courage in standing in the witness box and confronting you in court, a courage not shared by her ex-boyfriend. 

Both of you have also been convicted of using threatening and abusive behaviour at Armadale Path. That was clearly a terrifying experience for all of those who witnessed these events, including small children.

This Court has heard in great detail how Brian Boyle died but why he had to die is beyond me. The simplest explanation, and perhaps the only explanation, is that you were engaged in mindless violence of the sort you are both very familiar with.

You both have extensive records. Mark Moncrieff’s is a little shorter but neither of you are strangers to Scottish prisons. Both of you have previous convictions in the High Court. Both of you have convictions for violence and the possession and use of weapons.

I take into account everything that has been said on your behalf by Mr Findlay and Mr McConnachie. There is only one sentence that I can impose and that is life imprisonment. But I also require to set a punishment part which is that part which you must serve in prison before you are considered for release by the parole board. Whether you are released at that time will depend on whether or not they consider you to still be a risk to the public.

As things stand at present I consider that the public require to be protected from you both.

Paul McCann, you directly participated in the murder of Brian Boyle. While you did not inflict the fatal blow you attacked him with a hammer hitting him about the head and body at a time when you knew or must have known that Mark Moncrieff was striking Brian Boyle with a knife.

Charge 1: the sentence is 3 years imprisonment

Charge 2: the sentence is 2 years imprisonment

Charge 5: the sentence is one of life imprisonment. I will set the punishment part at 18 years, 6 months of which is attributable to the bail aggravation. The sentences are to be concurrent and backdated to 11 July 2018.

Mark Moncrieff you inflicted the fatal blow. Your record includes attempted murder.

Charge 1: the sentence is 3 years imprisonment

Charge 5: the sentence is one of life imprisonment with a punishment part is 20 years. The sentences are to be concurrent and backdated to 11 July 2018.”



Domenica Smith was convicted of two charges of contraventions of Section 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and one charge of assault. Sentence was adjourned to 11 September 2018 at the High Court in Edinburgh for the preparation of a criminal justice social work report.