HMA v PAUL ST PIERRE

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Pentland sentenced Paul St Pierre to nine years imprisonment after he was found guilty of the attempted murder of Steven John Ross Ferry in Edinburgh on 28th November 2010.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

“Paul St Pierre, you have been convicted by the jury of the crime of attempted murder. This offence involved a violent attack on the complainer in the street during which, amongst other things, you repeatedly punched and kicked him and stamped on his head whilst he was on the ground. He sustained severe head injuries and has as a result been left with a number of serious and lasting impairments. The evidence at the trial as to what lay behind this assault was somewhat limited, but it seems clear that both you and the victim had been in the same nightclub earlier in the evening; there was some evidence that you had been looking for the complainer.

The attack occurred in a nearby street after you had both left the nightclub and the victim was making his way home. He was alone, but you assaulted him along with another man, who was not identified at the trial. You chased the victim across the street and then attacked him. The CCTV evidence showed that you had the opportunity to walk away from the disturbance, but you did not do so and instead returned more than once to the scene.  By their verdict the jury accepted that you played a full part in what a number of witnesses described as a violent and sustained onslaught involving the repeated use of fists and feet. One witness thought at the time that you were going to kill the complainer. The verdict of the jury clearly shows that they accepted that you participated in a murderous assault on the victim in the sense that your state of mind was at least that of wicked recklessness as to whether the victim lived or died.

I have taken account of the submissions made today by your counsel and of the contents of the criminal justice social work report. I acknowledge that you have only a minor criminal record and have not previously served a custodial sentence.

Attempted murder is a very grave crime and it is all the more grave when the victim suffers severe and permanent impairment. In imposing sentence the court has a responsibility to mark the severity of your conduct and its devastating consequences for the victim with a substantial sentence of imprisonment. This is that you will be sent to prison for nine years.

The sentence will be backdated to 14 August 2012 when you were first remanded in custody".