Robber 'facinated by violence' may never be released from jail

A MAN who confessed to a "fascination with violence" was given a life sentence yesterday for two armed robberies committed within weeks of his early release from prison.

A judge branded Scott Carmichael, 35, who has warned that he might kill someone, an exceptional danger to the public.

Imposing an order for lifelong restriction (OLR), under which Carmichael can be detained indefinitely, Lord Woolman said: "It may be the case you will never be released."

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Carmichael, of Lincoln Avenue, Glasgow, has spent 18 of the last 20 years behind bars and was freed from his last sentence only three weeks before the raids at shops in Wardie Road and Barrachnie Road, both Glasgow, on 30 November and 2 December last year.

In each incident, Carmichael hid his face with a scarf and a hood, and pretended to be buying a bottle of Buckfast tonic wine, but pulled a machete from his clothing and threatened staff.

He demanded money from the till, and fled with 587 from the first shop, G101 Offsales, and 147 from the second, the Co-operative Superstore.

Carmichael admitted the robberies. His list of previous convictions included five appearances from age 16 in the High Court on charges of assault, usually involving robbery and all with a weapon. The sentences he received ranged from two to seven years' detention.

Sentencing Carmichael yesterday at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Woolman said: "These were frightening, cowardly attacks. One victim had to go on sick leave for six weeks and that is no surprise. It must have been terrifying to be confronted with a person with his face masked, brandishing a weapon. These were not isolated incidents, but part of an appalling pattern of conduct."

Lord Woolman said many attempts had been made in prison and in the community to address Carmichael's problems, but all had failed. A risk assessment prepared on the accused made "very disturbing reading." The judge added: "It appears you present a high risk to the safety of the public at large, and currently there are no means of reducing it. You have a fascination with violence, enjoy inflicting pain on others and have indicated you might kill someone.

"I am in no doubt you present an exceptionally high level of danger to the public. The court's main responsibility is to take whatever steps are available under the law to ensure public safety. It is appropriate to make an order for lifelong restriction against you.

"You will never be released unless the parole board can be satisfied that public safety will not be endangered by doing so. For the rest of your life, you will be subject to continued risk assessment and close supervision. It may be the case you will never be released."

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Lord Woolman ordered Carmichael to serve more than four years of his previous sentence for breaching his licence. After that, he would serve at least five years under the OLR before he could apply for parole.

"I emphasise that period is no more than a minimum. It does not mean you will be released after five years," said the judge.

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