HMA v Alan McFadyen

At the High Court in Edinburgh today (29 November, 2019), Lord Arthurson sentenced Alan McFadyen to five years’ imprisonment after the offender pled guilty to an assault with a machete to the danger of life.

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

“Alan McFadyen, on 11 November 2019, you tendered a plea of guilty before the sheriff at Livingston to charge 4 on a four charge indictment, and the sheriff has elected to make a remit to this Court in terms of section 195 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland ) Act 1995. The sheriff has rehearsed in detail in his report the nature of the index offence, which is one of assault with a machete to severe injury, permanent impairment, permanent disfigurement and danger of life. I have been advised that you instructed an appropriate plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity in these proceedings and I will proceed to sentence you today upon that basis.

The crime which you committed was one of considerable severity. On 23 June 2019 you, while armed with a machete, sought out your victim and repeatedly struck him on the left arm and hands, occasioning multiple injuries and much loss of blood, to the extent that a blood transfusion required to be administered to your victim on his arrival by ambulance at hospital. The loss of blood was such that his life had been put in potential danger through your criminal conduct. Very significant medical sequelae have been sustained by your victim, all as set out in the full report of the sheriff to this Court.

You have to date accrued 24 groups of previous convictions, three of which have been at sheriff and jury indictment level. You have served five custodial sentences. Of particular note, your record contains four prior convictions for offences involving knives, between 2002 and 2009. Other weapons listed in your record are a cosh, a belt and a baseball bat.

I have considered and taken into account what was said in mitigation on your behalf to the sheriff at Livingston, as well of course as the submissions made in court this morning by your counsel. I note in particular your remorse, employment history and present family circumstances. I accept of course that the present offence is the first crime of significant violence committed by you.

You will appreciate, however, that an offence of this gravity, being a vicious attack with a machete, which you took with you as you sought out your victim, as set against the background of your significant prior offending with bladed and other weapons, must result in a substantial custodial disposal, even after discount.

In the whole circumstances, I accordingly now sentence you on this indictment to a period of 5 years imprisonment, which period is discounted due to the early timing of your plea in this matter from a period of 7 years and 6 months imprisonment. This sentence will be backdated to 18 July 2019, being the date of your initial remand in custody in respect of these proceedings.”