HMA v Anthony Peter Allan

At the High Court in Glasgow today (18 February 2020) Lord Matthews imposed a sentence of life imprisonment with a punishment part of 18 years on Anthony Peter Allan after he was found guilty of murder.

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:

“You were convicted after trial of the brutal murder of Ryan Richardson. According to the evidence I heard, Mr Richardson’s life in his later years was tragically blighted by an addiction to drugs and that provided the backdrop to his untimely death. However, he remained not only a much loved son and brother but a father to 3 young children who are too young to understand the full implications of his death but whose lives will never be what they might have been. His family did what they could for him and have been gravely affected by his death but I have no doubt that they will see to it, as best they can, that his children will grow up with only the fondest memories of him. No sentence I can impose can possibly make up for what they have lost.

As you know, the only sentence I can impose is one of life imprisonment. However, in imposing that sentence I also have to specify a period which must pass before you can apply for release on parole. This period is known as the punishment part of your sentence. Whether or not you are ever released will be for others to determine but even if you are released you will be subject to the conditions of a licence for the rest of your life and liable to be recalled to prison if you break any of the conditions.

In fixing the punishment period I have had regard to the circumstances of the offence as brought out in the evidence, to your record, to what has been said on your behalf and to the contents of the Criminal Justice Social Work report.

This was a brutal attack on Mr Richardson, the only discernible motive being in relation to a drug debt. His skull was fractured into approximately 17 pieces by at least 6 heavy blows with a bat or something similar and even if you did not mean to kill him, as the evidence showed you said, and could not see externally what you had done to him, it must have been obvious that significant injuries would result from what was done.

You have a record which includes some convictions for violence, possession of offensive weapons and threats to kill, and I take that record into account, though it is of a much lesser degree than the murder of Mr Richardson.

I also take on board what Mr Scullion has said in relation to the circumstances of the offence and your troubled upbringing.

In all the circumstances I sentence you to life imprisonment to run from 29 March 2019 and I fix the punishment part at 18 years.”