HMA v Dylan Kyle Mason, Reece Ellis Christopher Gaughan, Lee Francis Murphy and Michael Peter O’Brien

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 2 October 2019, Lord Pentland imposed sentences of imprisonment on Dylan Kyle Mason, Reece Ellis Christopher Gaughan, Lee Francis Murphy and Michael Peter O’Brien after they were convicted of a number of serious charges.

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

Dylan Kyle Mason

Dylan Kyle Mason, you were convicted after trial of an offence of attempted wilful fire-raising to the danger of the lives of the occupant of a house and her six-month-old daughter. This was charge 1 on the indictment.

You pled guilty at the start of the trial to three other offences. These were as follows:

Charge 2 as amended - in concert with the third accused, forcing entry to a different property and assaulting one of the occupants by presenting a machete at him and by repeatedly attempting to strike him on the body with it; 

Charge 3 as amended - in concert with the third and fifth accused, by forcing entry to that property, assaulting another of the occupants, racially abusing him, demanding money and drugs from him, repeatedly attempting to strike him on the head with the machete, striking him on the head with the weapon to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement, and robbing him of £800; and

Charge 4 as amended - at a third property and in concert with the third, fourth and fifth accused, with your faces masked, forcing entry, assaulting two of the occupants, threatening them with a pole and pointing it at their heads, brandishing a machete at them, uttering threats, demanding money and drugs, and attempting to rob the occupants of money and drugs.

These offences took place in August and September 2018 in Fraserburgh. 

You are a 21-year-old man with some criminal convictions, but nothing approaching the gravity of the present offences.

I have considered the background report and all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation.

There can be no doubt at all that these were extremely serious offences.  Charge 1 involved danger to the lives of the occupants of a house, the front door of which you attempted to set alight in the early hours of the morning. The remaining offences involved you and your co-accused forcing entry to other properties in order to threaten and intimidate the occupants and use violence against them. The broader context in which these various offences occurred was the illegal trade in controlled drugs in the Fraserburgh area. In these circumstances, it is clear that the Court must take a very serious view of matters. Those who choose, for whatever reason, to become party to the use of violence and intimidation for the furtherance of illegal purposes must expect to receive substantial custodial sentences.

On charges 1, 2, 3 and 4 taken together, I impose a sentence of 10 years imprisonment, backdated to 21 August 2019. The sentence would have been one of 11 years had it not been for your pleas of guilty to charges 2, 3 and 4. In selecting your sentence, I have taken account of the time you have spent on remand.

Reece Ellis Christopher Gaughan

Reece Ellis Christopher Gaughan, at the outset of the trial you pled guilty to charges 2, 3 and 4. 

You are a 23-year-old man with no previous convictions.

I have taken account of the submissions in mitigation advanced on your behalf this morning and of the contents of the criminal justice social work report.

In respect of charge 3, the agreed narrative states that you repeatedly swung the machete at two of the occupants of the flat and struck one of them on the face with the weapon to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

In respect of charge 4, you were wearing a mask and holding out a pole which you used to intimidate the occupants of the property.

On charges 2, 3 and 4 taken together, I impose a sentence of 7 years imprisonment, discounted from 8 years for your late guilty pleas. This will be backdated to 21 August 2019. In selecting that sentence, I have taken account of the time you have spent on remand.

Lee Francis Murphy

Lee Francis Murphy, you pled guilty at the start of the trial to charge 4. You participated in a forced entry to a property along with others for the purpose of intimidating and threatening the occupants.

You are a 23-year-old man with some previous convictions in the magistrates’ courts in England and Wales. This offence represents a marked escalation in the gravity of your offending.

I have taken into account all that has been submitted on your behalf this morning and also of the contents of the criminal justice social work report.

On charge 4, I impose a sentence of 5 years imprisonment discounted from 6 years to reflect your late plea of guilty. Your sentence will be backdated to 21 August 2019. In selecting your sentence, I have taken account of the time you have spent on remand.

Michael Peter O’Brien

Michael Peter O’Brien, you pled guilty at the outset of the trial to charges 3 and 4.

In respect of charge 3, you were one of the group who forced entry and participated in threatening and intimidating the occupants.

In respect of charge 4, you were the person holding the machete in a threatening manner.

You are a 22-year-old man. I note that in 2017 you were convicted of supplying cocaine, for which a 16-month term of detention was imposed on you.

I have taken account of the submissions made on your behalf today and of the contents of the criminal justice social work report.

On charges 3 and 4 taken together I impose a sentence of 6 years imprisonment, discounted from 7 years to reflect your late pleas of guilty. Your sentence will be backdated to 21 August 2019. In selecting your sentence, I have taken account of the time you have spent on remand.”

Sentencing Statements

HMA v Gareth Robertson

Wednesday, 13 November, 2019

HMA v Shebli Alshebli

Monday, 11 November, 2019

HMA v Dean Purdie

Monday, 11 November, 2019

HMA v Vojtech Gombar & Others

Friday, 8 November, 2019

HMA v Richard Hutchinson

Thursday, 7 November, 2019