HMA v MARTIN JOSEPH MAGEE

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lady Scott sentenced Martin Magee to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 22 years, after he was found guilty of the murder of Hugh Porteous, attempted murder of James Kane and assault of two others in Greenock on 22 August 2011.

On sentencing Lady Scott made the following statement in court: 

“You have been convicted by a unanimous verdict of the murder of Hugh Porteous, the attempted murder of James Kane; the assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement of David Rice and the assault of Jacqueline Branchfield all whilst on bail. 

In addition, in separate events, you have been convicted of two breaches of bail conditions and of issuing threats in contravention of s38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. 

As you know in respect of charge 1 of murder, I must pass a sentence of life imprisonment on you. The law also requires me to fix the period, known as the punishment part,  that you must spend in prison before you may apply to the Parole Board to be considered for possible release on licence. 

On the 19th of April 2011, whilst acting along with 2 others, you went to the flat of David Rice in Greenock, to carry out a carefully planned armed attack and robbery upon the occupants. You went masked and armed with large knives, machetes and baseball bats. You burst in the door of that flat and wreaked a storm of ruthless violence on all those present. 

Mr Porteous was immediately stabbed through his heart. Mr Kane was slashed with a large knife or machete, repeatedly about the head and face and was lucky to survive. And whilst he was unconscious and Mr Porteous sat gasping for breath and dying on the settee, Mr Rice was assaulted with a bat, slashed with a knife and there was an attempt to cut off his fingers to rob him of jewelry. At the same time Mrs Branchfield was threatened and told to hand over any money and remove her clothing. The deliberate and vicious nature of this lethal attack is of the highest order of seriousness. 

The motivation for this attack is unclear, but it appears to be rooted in a dispute over drug dealing from the flat and a desire for revenge. 

Mr Porteous had no connection with drugs and he was only present in the flat in order to estimate a price for a painting job. It is clear from the information given to me that his family have been left devastated, by his murder. He was the head of the family and his wife and one of his sons who have health problems depended upon him as their daily carer. 

All of the other victims have been left badly scarred and/or traumatised by this attack. 

I have listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf and considered such information as there is in the social background report. I have also had regard to your record which, although short, includes one previous conviction on indictment  for violence. Finally I have taken into account the time you have spent on remand in respect of this case. 

Balancing all these considerations, I sentence you as follows; 

In respect of the minor separate offences, in charges 10 and 12 you are admonished. In respect of the offence of issuing threats to your neighbours in contravention of s38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 I sentence you to 3 months imprisonment. 

Turning to the charges related to the incident of 19th April 2011, I sentence you to a period of imprisonment in respect of charge 2 of 8 years; in respect of charge3 a period of 11 years and in respect of charge 4 a period of 2 years. 

All of these sentences to run concurrently to the sentence imposed on charge 1. There will be no separate sentence imposed in respect of the charges having been committed whilst you were on bail, in view of the length of the overall sentence. 

On Charge 1 the mandatory sentence of this court is life imprisonment to date from 7 April 2012.  The punishment part, which also takes account of your conviction of charges 2, 3 and 4, is a period of imprisonment of 22 years.”

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