HMA v BRIAN LINDSAY

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Brodie sentenced Brian Lindsay to six years imprisonment after he pled guilty to the culpable homicide of Andrew Campbell on 14 December 2010 in Abbotsford Drive, Larkhall.

On sentencing Lord Brodie made the following statement in court.

“Brian Lindsay, you have been found guilty of the culpable, that is to say the unlawful and blameworthy killing, of Andrew Campbell by pushing him, repeatedly punching him on the head and body, sitting on his body, seizing him by the head and striking his head on the floor.

Andrew Campbell was only 48 when he died. He had much to look forward to. As I know from the victim impact statements with which I have been provided, he was a much loved brother and father, devoted to his family. By his premature death he was deprived of the experience of becoming a grandfather and of course he and also his family have been deprived of much else besides. The victim impact statements make very clear how keenly they feel their loss.

Nothing that I can do and nothing that has been said on your behalf can undo the tragedy for which you are criminally responsible. All I can do is to pass a sentence which is appropriate in all the circumstances of the case and consistent with the guidance available from the decision of the Appeal Court, bearing in mind that on 15 April of this year you fully accepted your criminal responsibility by formally tendering a plea of guilty in exactly the same terms as you were convicted by the jury after trial.   The Crown, whose decision it was to make, refused that plea but it is something to which I must have regard. Beyond that, in determining what is the appropriate sentence I have had regard to everything said on your behalf, on the evidence that I heard at trial and on the terms of a very full social enquiry report. The following are what appear to me to be the most important points.

  • You were convicted of culpable homicide and not of murder. You had faced a charge of murder, but murder requires proof of an assault with the intention to kill or an assault with such wicked recklessness as to be the equivalent of an intention – of not caring whether the victim lives or dies.
  • The Crown never suggested that you intended to kill Andrew Campbell, and
  • The jury rejected the suggestion that you acted in such a way as to indicate that you did not care whether he lived or died. In coming to that conclusion they may be taken to have had regard to the evidence that
  • No weapon used
  • The injuries are likely to have been caused by no more than 18 blows and possibly as few as 6, the majority of which could have been, accordingly to the pathologist, relatively mild
  • Andrew Campbell did not die as a direct result of any blow, rather, bleeding associated with the fracture of the nasal bone tracked into and obstructed his airway which he could not clear because he was unconscious
  • You called 999 and attempted vigorous but unsuccessful artificial respiration when you realised that Mr Campbell was not breathing
  • In only slightly different circumstances the outcome could have been quite different

You have fully accepted responsibility with a plea of guilt at the stage of a first preliminary hearing. The criminal justice social worker who prepared the background report assessed you as demonstrating good insight as to the level of harm and a high degree of empathy with Mr Campbell and his family

  • Your record of previous offending is trivial
  • You have been assessed as being at low risk of re-offending

In all the circumstances, only a custodial sentence is appropriate. Had it not been for your early guilty plea it would have been one of 8 years imprisonment. Having regard, as I must, to the terms of section 196 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 and decision of the Appeal Court in Spence v HMA 2007 SCCR 592 I will allow a discount of 25 per cent and accordingly the sentence will be one of 6 years imprisonment back-dated to 14 December 2010 when you were first remanded in custody”.

 

 

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