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Appeal Against “Excessive” Sentence

Gay v HM Advocate

A man who was jailed for two years after being found guilty of assault to severe injury after his victim died has failed in an appeal against his “excessive” sentence. Grant Gay’s trial was heard in the High Court in Edinburgh in March 2017 on a charge which initially included an element of culpable homicide.

The jury returned a guilty verdict of assault to severe injury by punching. He appealed against his 2 year sentence, arguing that “justice would be served” by a “robust” Community Payback Order.

The appellant was described as a “hard worker all his life” and he had shown “genuine remorse and distress” which to Court took in to account. However, he had previous convictions for crimes of violence, and the trial judge also reported that the actions of the appellant both prior to the assault and after its perpetration “aggravated matters”.

Refusing the appeal, the appeal judges said there was “no error of law” in the trial judge’s approach. Lord Menzies said: “There is no error of law that we can find in the sentencing judge’s reasoning and we are unable in all of the circumstances of this case to categorise the sentence of two years imprisonment as being excessive and for these reasons, this appeal must be refused.”

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