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HMA v David Bain


Mar 17, 2022

At the High Court at Edinburgh today, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced David Bain to life imprisonment after the offender was convicted of murder. The punishment part is 16 years. This is the minimum time that the offender must remain in jail before he can be considered for parole.


On sentencing, Lord Boyd made the following statement in Court:

“David Bain, you have been convicted of the murder of Clifford Anderson. In the early hours of the morning of 23 August 2020 you arranged to meet him through a dating website. You went to his house. You had sexual relations with him following which you stabbed him once through the heart as a result of which he died.

The circumstances of his death are not clear. According to you, you took two knives from the kitchen drawer with the intention of self-harming. You say that you were on the way to the front door when Mr Anderson came up behind you. You told this Court that you made a stabbing motion in order, you said, to get him away from you. There was no reason to take the knives and no reason to stab Mr Anderson.

What is clear is that Clifford Anderson did absolutely nothing which would have entitled you to assault him in any way. You left him dying on the hall floor in his own home. You did nothing to help him. You didn’t phone an ambulance or seek any assistance. Your actions that night were brutal and callous.

I have read the victim statements from the family. The emotional, and indeed financial toll on them is evident from these statements. But as they recognise no sentence that I can impose will bring Clifford Anderson back to his family.

You have struggled with mental health issues and addiction for some time as well as issues about your sexuality. I accept that you have sought help but I do not get the impression that you have made any serious attempt, or found the courage, to tackle your drug addiction. Until you are able to confront these issues yourself I fear that you will never make any sort of life for yourself.

There is only one sentence that I can impose; life imprisonment. But I am required by law to set a punishment part which is the minimum term that you can serve before you are eligible for parole.

I have listened carefully to what counsel has said on your behalf. You have a short criminal record but it includes a conviction at summary level for assault. You have not served a sentence of imprisonment. I take into account the expressions of remorse. You say that you wish you could apologise to Mr Anderson’s family but recognise that they might not want this. At least however you have shown some insight into the harm that you have caused.

The sentence of the court is that you shall be imprisoned for life with a punishment part of 16 years. The sentence will be backdated to 25 August 2020 when you first appeared on petition.”

17 March 2022