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R v Turpin: Attorney–General’s Reference No 71 of 2002

Sentencing - Drugs Offences - Supply of class “A” drug - Commercial supply - Repeated offences - Nightclub offered ready market - Five months’ imprisonment unduly lenient - Eighteen months’ imprisonment appropriate - Court discretion not to interfere with sentence - Criminal Justice Act 1988, s 36

11 October 2002

Police Officers in Plymouth set up an undercover operation to tackle the growing drug problem in local nightclubs. Several officers operated in such a role on the night of 13 April 2002. Between the hours of 12am to 2am several officers were sold seventeen ecstasy pills by the twenty-two-year-old respondent. The total retail value was £70. The respondent was arrested at the scene with further pills in his possession. On 19 April 2002 the respondent pleaded guilty to six offences of supplying a class “A” drug, namely ecstasy, and to one offence of possession of the same drug. He was remanded in custody prior to his committal to the Crown Court for sentence. On 17 May 2002 before Mr Recorder Miller at the Plymouth Crown Court he was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment on each count to run concurrently. The sentencing judge commented that the courts had to pass custodial sentences in cases of this nature but, in this case, the immediate shock of imprisonment could satisfy the re...

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