HMA v JAMES BRAND

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Brailsford sentenced James Brand to 40 months imprisonment after he pled guilty to assaulting a police officer to her injury and to the danger of her life, and obstructing police officers in the execution of their duty on 1st July 2012 at Gartmorn Dam, Alloa.

On sentencing, Lord Brailsford made the following statement in court:

You have pled guilty to two charges, first, of an assault to a police officer to her injury and to the danger of her life and, second, to resisting and obstructing police officers in the execution of their duty.

I have had the benefit of hearing an agreed narrative of the facts which clearly sets out the circumstances in which these offences were committed. It is plain from these facts that police officers were engaged in their lawful duty of investigating complaints made by the public of apparently criminal conduct when you assaulted the female police officer named in charge 1 in the manner therein described. It is plain from the plea of guilt that the assault was life threatening. Moreover, and understandably, the police officer involved has suffered and continues to suffer serious psychological sequelae as a result of this assault.

I have listened to, and had regard to, what has been said on your behalf in mitigation. The social enquiry report which has been prepared for this court unfortunately reports an incomplete appreciation on your behalf of the seriousness of your criminal conduct. I  also require to have regard to the fact that, for a person of your age, you have a substantial record of previous offences, including 4 convictions for assault.

It is a matter of the utmost public importance that the police are able to go about their duty of investigating crimes on behalf of society. Any interference with that function, particularly one as serious as this, requires in the public interest, to be treated accordingly. The sentence of the court is 40 months imprisonment in respect of charge 1, and 12 months imprisonment in respect of charge 2, to run concurrently to date from 1st July 2012 “.