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Gregory Wedge of Chambers’ Crime and Regulatory Team, secured a successful appeal against sentence in respect to a £1.5 million drug conspiracy case. The case concerned the transport of 15kg of cocaine with an 80% purity. The Appellant pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy, to supply class A drugs in his role as a courier. The sentencing judge departed significantly from the sentencing guidelines in taking a starting point of 14 years for the Appellant.
Mr Wedge submitted that this was not the correct approach considering the role of the Appellant in the conspiracy and therefore the starting point of 14 years and overall sentence of 10 years was manifestly excessive. Mr Wedge invited the court in considering the sentencing guidelines to take a starting point of 12 years and to find that there was insufficient basis to depart from the range. To that end, Mr Wedge argued that although the case concerned a greater amount of cocaine than the 5kg set out as the category 1 starting point, this did not provide in of itself foundation for wholly departing from the range prescribed.
The Court of Appeal agreed with Mr Wedge’s submissions that in all the circumstances of the case the sentence could properly be termed excessive. As such, the Court duly allowed the appeal reducing the starting point by 2 years and thereafter afforded the Appellant 25% credit.
Mr Wedge was instructed by Foxes Solicitors.
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