Crucible counsel secure suspended sentence for Class A drug trafficker.

28 May 2021

Crucible counsel, instructed by Rose Melis of Lansbury Worthington solicitors, represented a client of previous good character charged with possession of heroin with intent to supply and possession of criminal property. The client was arrested outside a property associated with Class A drug users in possession of 44 wraps of heroin and £600 cash.

Ben Rowe represented the client at plea. He negotiated an acceptable basis of plea to these offences: the client had agreed to collect a package in order to pay off a debt he owed, and had a limited role as a courier on one single occasion rather than any greater involvement. Ben's efforts ensured that the client would receive appropriate credit and that his limited role was fully understood by the court. Ben also persuaded the court to order a probation pre-sentence report, notwithstanding the seriousness of the offence which ordinarily attracts a sentence of immediate imprisonment.

Libby Anderson represented the client at sentence, and advanced submissions in mitigation highlighting various factors including the client’s good character, family and employment situation, remorse, and the delay since the offence (which took place in October 2018 but was not charged until August 2020). The Judge was also asked to take into account the extremely onerous prison conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic: prisoners are often in their cells for 23 hours a day without the usual opportunities for employment, activities or education, and without family visits.

As a result of Libby's mitigation, the Judge was persuaded, exceptionally, to impose a suspended sentence.

The case was reported by the Portsmouth News. A link can be found here.

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Ben Rowe.
Libby Anderson.