At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Matthews sentenced Nicola MacKintosh to three years and nine months in prison after she pled guilty to the assault of Derek MacLeod on the 22 June 2011 at Waterloo Bridge, Inverness.

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:

“You have pleaded guilty to assaulting Derek MacLeod to his severe injury.

The assault consisted of your striking him four times with a knife and it is no surprise that you originally faced a charge of attempted murder.

However, it is clear that each of the wounds was superficial and was treated with no more than steristrips so in fact the assault was not as serious as at first blush it might appear.

What concerns me however is that you have a number of previous convictions, including for violence, albeit the most serious of these, a conviction for assault to severe injury in the High Court which resulted ultimately in a prison sentence of three years, was 11 years ago.

Furthermore, you were prepared to carry and use a knife, the results of which could have been much more serious.

You have plainly led a life punctuated by mental health difficulties and the use of drugs and alcohol. You yourself have been the victim of abusive partners and I am aware that you suffered a miscarriage just prior to the commission of this offence.

You will continue to offend unless you address the difficulties with drugs and alcohol which I have mentioned and I hope that on release you will never again associate with the type of people who are liable to bring you into contact with them.

Had this matter gone to trial I would have imposed a sentence of five years imprisonment but given your plea at a preliminary hearing it will be one of three years and nine months imprisonment to run from 27 June 2011.

Furthermore on release you will be under supervision for a period of twelve months on conditions which will be set out. I should warn you that if you break the conditions or commit further offences the upshot could be your returning to prison. I make this order because the social enquiry report assesses you as being at a high risk of committing further offences on release if you continue to abuse drugs and alcohol and in the hope that with the assistance of your supervisor and your mother, whose letter I have read, you will be able to avoid these substances”.