HMA V Graeme Morton Davidson

At the High Court in Glasgow today, Friday 15 November 2019, Lord Matthews imposed an extended sentence of 13 years and 3 months (custodial part 10 years and 3 months) on Graeme Morton Davidson after the offender pled guilty to attempting to murder a police officer.

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:

"On 24 October 2019, at a preliminary hearing you pleaded guilty to an extremely serious offence, namely attempted murder. That is a serious enough crime in its own right but when the victim is a police officer carrying out his duty it is aggravated to a significant degree.

The circumstances of the offence were set out clearly in the narrative which was read on the last occasion you appeared and I need not repeat them in detail. Suffice it to say that police were called to your cousin's home following a disturbance. You were alone in the flat and asleep when they arrived.

At first you were fully compliant and giving no cause for concern. You were not a suspect in connection with anything and you were left in the bedroom to get dressed.

For some reason you left the bedroom in a hurry and attacked PC Laing leaving him with no chance to use his equipment. You stabbed him in the chest causing him, quite understandably, to fear for his life. His colleagues eventually managed to restrain and disarm you.

The officer sustained a puncture wound to the chest which was 1cm wide and penetrated to a depth of 1.5 cm. The blade only stopped because it struck his breastbone meaning that vital organs were not compromised.

No thanks to you his injuries were thankfully nowhere near as severe as they might have been but I am told that your victim struggles daily to cope with the effects of the incident and is seeking professional help in relation to the mental trauma this caused not only to him but to his wife and young children.

I have considered all that has been said on your behalf and the terms of the reports.

You have a history of mixed anxiety and a depressive illness, presenting with emotional instability and anger control problems but you were not suffering from any major mental illness at the time. You also have significant problems with drugs and alcohol and the plea was tendered on the basis that you were using alcohol as a coping mechanism and were intoxicated at the time.

That is neither an excuse nor any form of mitigation. You had been roused from sleep but this was not something you did immediately on awakening

You have a record which includes a number of convictions for violent offences but they pale into insignificance beside this offence. Nonetheless, despite the good work you have shown you are capable of doing they demonstrate that you are prepared to resort to violence and along with this offence they persuade me that an extended sentence is necessary to protect the public from serious harm from you.

That means that your sentence will be in two parts, a custodial element firstly then an extension period during which you will be in the community but subject to the terms of a licence containing conditions which will be set by or on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. Breach of the conditions of the licence may see you returned to prison to serve the whole of the sentence.

I am satisfied that the sentence has to be a lengthy one. The community relies heavily on police officers who often put their lives at risk to protect and serve the rest of us. The court in turn must do what it can to protect them

The custodial term, which will run from 1 July 2019 will be one of 10 years and 3 months, the 3 months being attributable to the bail aggravation. Had you been found guilty of this offence after trial it would have been 14 years and 4 months with 4 months attributable to bail.

No discount can be applied to the extension period, which I fix at three years.

The total sentence is therefore 13 years and 3 months."

Sentencing Statements

HMA v George Knowles

Friday, 6 December, 2019

HMA V Michael James Scott

Tuesday, 3 December, 2019

HMA v Alan McFadyen

Friday, 29 November, 2019

HMA V Graeme Morton Davidson

Friday, 15 November, 2019

HMA v Gareth Robertson

Wednesday, 13 November, 2019