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HMA v Nathan Shaw and John Lawrie


Sep 6, 2021

At the High Court in Glasgow today, Lord Matthews imposed sentences of imprisonment on Nathan Shaw and John Lawrie after they both pled guilty to the crime of hamesucken

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

You both pleaded guilty at a continued preliminary hearing to the crime of hamesucken in that you forced your way into the house of the complainer David Fulton, chased him and struck him repeatedly with a pole to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and the danger of his life. In addition you Mr Lawrie pleaded guilty to another charge of hamesucken involving assaulting Mr Fulton’s partner by pushing her on the body and striking her on the head with a pole to her severe injury.

The circumstances were set out in an agreed narrative which was read on the last occasion you appeared. It appears that you Mr Shaw are the father of a son whose mother is Mr Fulton’s partner’s sister. You were given information to the effect that Mr Fulton had caused injury to the child, his position being that the injury was accidental. 

You both attended at the home shared by the complainers at 7pm the next day, each wearing dark clothing, a beanie hat and gloves. You approached the window and you Mr Shaw said that you wanted to talk to Mr Fulton as you had heard that he had harmed his son. Mr Fulton came to the window and said that it had been an accident. You, Mr Shaw, asked him to come outside to discuss it and sort it out, while you Mr Lawrie said “we won’t leather you”. Mr Fulton refused to come out and said that he did not want to fight with you.

If your purpose had really been to discuss maters you could have carried on doing so through the window but instead of that you both climbed through carrying metal poles of some kind.
You both tried unsuccessfully to push Mr Fulton out of the window and he ran into the kitchen, in order to escape through the back door. You both pursued him and his partner grabbed you Mr Lawrie to try to stop you. You pushed her on the body causing her to strike a television. Mr Fulton curled up on the kitchen floor and you struck him four or five times each to the head and body with the poles. His partner tried to pull you away Mr Lawrie but you struck her once on the head with the pole before hitting Mr Fulton with it once more. She then grabbed you Mr Shaw and told you to leave Mr Fulton alone and although you said you would not you then backed off and both of you left.

Mr Fulton ran outside covered in blood screaming for help and neighbours assisted him. Both complainers were taken to hospital in an ambulance.

As a result of this cowardly and despicable attack Mr Fulton suffered a depressed fracture of the skull, three fractured fingers, a fractured eye socket and swelling throughout his body. A cast was placed on his hand and this remained on for several weeks. The lacerations were closed with glue and stitches and will leave permanent scarring. Luckily for him and also for you, while a depressed skull fracture can threaten life, this fracture did not actually do so. The consequences of the attack are still being felt by Mr Fulton, as is set out in his victim statement. They are not only physical but psychological, which is to be expected. 

His partner had a laceration to the top of the head, which was closed with stitches but her life has also been blighted psychologically, as she has set out eloquently in her own victim statement.
To put matters into context, these injuries can be contrasted with the injury sustained by the child, a red mark on his hand. Even if there was any more to it than a physical assault, what you did was beyond the pale.

You know perfectly well that if you were concerned about any alleged mistreatment of the boy you should have gone to the police but instead you carried out a vicious attack. In your case Mr Lawrie there were 2 attacks.

You both have records but yours Mr Shaw is of little consequence compared to the offence to which you have pleaded guilty. You have no violence on your record and have never been sentenced to custody.  Your record Mr Lawrie is significantly worse, including two convictions for assault, the second with aggravations. You have been sentenced to custody on three occasions, 2 years on 3 September 2008 for culpable and reckless conduct, 3 months on 8 May 2013 for attempting to pervert the course of justice and 20 months on the same day for the aggravated assault. However, you have both moved on from your offending since your last convictions, which are now of some vintage in each case, and until this episode you had turned your lives around. 

I have listened to everything said on your behalf and taken account of what has been said on your behalf. The sentencing purpose which I have principally in mind is one of punishment. Only a significant custodial sentence is appropriate in the case of each of you.

As far as you are concerned Mr Shaw, had you been found guilty after trial I would have sentenced you to imprisonment for 5  years. In view of the timing of your plea, the sentence, which will run from today, would have been one of imprisonment for 4 years but given that you spend one week on remand I will reduce the sentence to 3 years and 11 months giving you the benefit of two weeks extra for the sake of simplicity.

In your case Mr Lawrie the sentence after trial would have been a cumulo one of imprisonment for 6 years. In view of the timing of your plea, the sentence, which will also run from today, will be imprisonment for 4 years and 9 months, rounding the discount up.