SENTENCING STATEMENTS

 

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HMA v Colin Marshall

 

May 4, 2021

At the High Court in Livingston today Lord Braid imposed an extended sentence of 18 years on Colin Marshall, with a custodial term of 12 years and extension period of 6 years, after the offender was found guilty of attempted murder.


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

“Colin Marshall, you were convicted by the jury of attempting to murder Calvin Whorlow, supposedly a friend of yours, on 20 May 2020, at your home address.  The evidence, which the jury must have accepted, was that you and he were drinking in your flat.  An argument appears to have developed which prompted you to punch Mr Whorlow to the head and body and to stab him to the neck with a kitchen knife, narrowly missing major arteries.  The assault caused severe injury and was to the danger of life. Following the assault on Mr Whorlow, the evidence was that you must have dragged him outside your flat, leaving him on the landing where he was fortuitously found about 40 minutes later and taken to hospital.

That was charge 3 on the indictment. You were also convicted of two lesser, but still serious, charges: charge 1, an assault on Mr Whorlow committed on 19 May 2020, the day before the attempted murder, when you also  punched him after you had been drinking, and following an argument, on that occasion rendering him unconscious; and charge 2, committed on 20 May, when you assaulted your partner, or ex-partner, (as the jury found), pushing her on the body whereby she fell down stairs, and punching her on the head and body, all to her injury.

You have an appalling record, which consists of 27 previous Scottish convictions, encompassing 67 offences; and a further five convictions, and 13 offences, committed in Northern Ireland.  Your past offending includes many offences which suggest you are a danger to the public, including culpable and reckless fire-raising and at least 10 assaults, one of them to severe injury.

The Criminal Justice Social Work Report discloses that you had a troubled upbringing.  You appear to be unable to control your propensity for impulsive violence. You still deny attempting to murder Mr Whorlow, notwithstanding the jury’s verdict. Alcohol misuse has been identified as a major factor in your offending. Not surprisingly, you have been assessed as presenting a very high risk of reoffending. Even you yourself recognise that your propensity to resort to violence could result in a death, as it could so easily have done on this occasion. That all said, the author of the report has identified certain areas where you may yet be able to change your thinking and learn new strategies, if you engage in programmes of work.

I have had regard to everything in the Report and to everything said on your behalf in mitigation. A significant custodial sentence is inevitable. Because I am satisfied that the ordinary conditions of release will be insufficient to protect the public from serious harm from you, I am going to pass an extended sentence. This will be in two parts, a custodial element and an extension period after your release from custody, during which you will be subject to a licence, the conditions of which will be set by the Scottish Ministers. Breach of any of these conditions will make you liable to be recalled to serve out the whole of the sentence in custody. However, I hope that you will take the opportunities this sentence will give you to address the issues which have contributed to your offending.

The total extended sentence is 18 years. The custodial term is 12 years. That will be followed by the extension period of 6 years. This sentence is a cumulo sentence, covering all three charges, and is backdated to 22 May 2020.