HMA v Keirin McMillan or Elliott, Aron McMillan & Levi Hunter or Brown

At the High Court in Edinburgh today (Friday 31 January 2020) Lord Uist sentenced Keirin McMillan or Elliott, Aron McMillan and Levi Hunter or Brown after they were found guilty of robbery and murder.

On sentencing Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

“You were each convicted by the jury at Edinburgh High Court of the robbery and murder of Alasdair Forsyth, a vulnerable 67 year old man, at the flat where he lived alone at 1/5 Clearburn Road, Edinburgh on 21 February last year. You ARON McMILLAN were also convicted of four assaults while subject to a bail order and you LEVI HUNTER or BROWN were also convicted of three other assaults.

The attack on Mr Forsyth was a planned robbery in which each of you took a tool to be used as a weapon, namely, a screwdriver, a wrench and a hammer, and battered him to death in his own home. Fortunately neighbours who heard a disturbance in Mr Forsyth’s flat phoned the police, who were quick to arrive on the scene and apprehend all three of you as you made off down the stairs from his flat. As a result of your attack upon him Mr Forsyth suffered the most terrible injuries. He sustained a total of 80 injuries and died of blunt force chest trauma. It is a scandal in a supposedly civilised society that a man should meet his death in this manner.

The sentence for murder is fixed by law and the relevant sentences will shortly be imposed upon all three of you. At the same time I must also impose the punishment part of each sentence, being the period of time which you must spend in custody in full before you can even apply to the Parole Board for Scotland for release on licence. You should not assume that you will automatically be released at the end of that period: you will be released only when it is considered no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be held in custody. In fixing the punishment parts of your sentences I must have no regard to the need for the protection of the public, but I am obliged to fix the part of your sentences which I consider appropriate to satisfy the requirements for retribution and deterrence, taking into account the seriousness of the murder, and, in the case of each of you, ARON McMILLAN and LEVI HUNTER or BROWN, the seriousness of the murder combined with the other offences on the indictment of which you have been convicted, as well as any previous convictions. I have read the criminal justice social work reports in respect of each of you and considered all that has been said on behalf of each of you in mitigation. I note in particular the very deprived and troubled upbringings which each of you has had. I have to take into account the fact that each of you is a young offender. Had that not been the case the punishment parts about to be imposed would have been longer.

I deal first with you, KIERIN MCMILLAN. It was clear from the evidence that you were the leader of this gang of thugs which robbed and murdered Mr Forsyth. You were 19 years old at the time of the crime and are now 20 years old. The previous week you brought the tools which were used as weapons from your own home to your aunt’s home across the road from Mr Forsyth and asked her several times whether Mr Forsyth had money in his books. You lied about your involvement in the crime and have shown no remorse. You have been in trouble on many occasions. It is of concern that in October 2015 you, along with others, broke into the home of a senior citizen and assaulted and robbed him. I sentence you to be detained in a young offenders’ institution and you shall be liable to be detained for life. I fix your punishment part at 18 years.

I next deal with you, ARON McMILLAN. You were 16 years old at the time of the offences of which you were convicted and are now 17 years old. The offences other than the murder indicate that you are prone to violence. You were subject to a bail order when you committed these offences. You have a history of offending as a child and there have been concerns about your violent and anti-social behaviour since you were six years old. You have at least expressed remorse and regret for the role you played in the murder. I sentence you to be detained without limit of time and fix your punishment part at 17 years 3 months, 3 months of which is referable to the bail aggravations.

Lastly, I deal with you, LEVI HUNTER or BROWN. You were 15 years old at the time of the offences of which you were convicted and are now 16 years old. Although you are the youngest of the three of you, you were by no means a young innocent led astray by another or others. You have repeatedly offended as a child. You have a history of involvement in previous violence. You have been taking controlled drugs since the age of 11. At the time you committed these offences you were in care and subject to a compulsory supervision order.  You have shown a lack of insight into your involvement in the murder. I sentence you to be detained without limit of time and fix your punishment part at 17 years.   

All sentences imposed will run from 25 February 2019.

As I am satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so, I shall permit any report of these proceedings to reveal the names and addresses of you ARON McMILLAN and you LEVI HUNTER or BROWN.”