HMA v Martin John Innes

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 10 September 2019, Lord Pentland imposed an extended sentence of 14 years' imprisonment on Martin Innes after the accused pled guilty to attempted murder. The custodial part will be nine years, which will be followed by an extension period of five years on licence.

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

“Martin John Innes, you pled guilty to three offences: an offence of attempted murder, an offence of assault to injury, and a contravention of section 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

“The offence of attempted murder involved the use of a knife on another man. Following an argument in a house, you left the property and armed yourself with two knives.

“You stabbed your first victim in the neck, close to his carotid artery. This was a life-threatening attack, which could easily have resulted in death. 

“Your victim has been left with a scar on his neck. By your guilty plea you have acknowledged that this attack was of a murderous nature.

“In the course of committing the second offence later the same evening you inflicted three stab wounds to the face of another man. Again, the weapon used was a knife.

“The third offence, which you committed at the same time as the second one, arose from your disorderly conduct; it extended to shouting, repeatedly uttering threats of violence, brandishing knives and repeatedly striking a car with your fists and with the knives.

“You have a deplorable record of previous offending. It dates back to February 2004.

“In recent years it has escalated in gravity. Since 2017 you have been repeatedly convicted of crimes of violence, including assault to severe injury on indictment.

“The criminal justice social work report makes for dispiriting reading.  You are assessed as a high-risk offender and as presenting a serious risk of harm to the public. 

“You appear to be incapable of controlling your problem of alcohol abuse.  You have abused controlled drugs for many years. 

“Especially when you are under the influence of alcohol and drugs, you have a marked propensity to resort to violence and to use weapons. 

“You have no significant level of insight into the effects of your violent behaviour and little understanding of its impact on your victims.

“I have also had the advantage of considering a comprehensive risk assessment report prepared by Dr Baird.  This assesses you as presenting a medium level of risk to the public.  Having considered your case in detail, Dr Baird concluded that the risks you present can be managed under the framework of a long-term sentence with an extension.  I agree with Dr Baird’s assessment for the reasons he gives.

“I have taken account of all that was said on your behalf in mitigation today.

“I intend to impose a cumulo sentence on charges 2, 3 and 4. This will be an extended sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment. The custodial element will be nine years (reduced from 11 years on account of your pleas of guilty - six months of this is attributable to the bail aggravation).

“The extension part of the sentence, during which you will be subject to a licence on conditions fixed by the Scottish Ministers, will be five years. During the extension period you will be subject to close supervision and monitoring of your behaviour. If you fail to comply with the licence conditions you are liable to be returned to custody and to be separately sentenced for any offence committed whilst on licence.

“I shall backdate the sentence to 27 December 2018.”