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When deciding a sentence, a judge must deal with the offence that the offender has been convicted of, taking into account the unique circumstances of each particular case. The judge will carefully consider the facts that are presented to the Court by both the prosecution and by the defence.
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HMA v Daniel McIntosh
Aug 27, 2020
On sentencing, Lord Fairley made the following statement in court:
“Daniel McIntosh, you pled guilty at a first Preliminary Hearing on 30 July of this year to being concerned in the supplying of diamorphine on a single day in September 2019 at your home address in Glasgow. The total quantity of high purity diamorphine found by the police officers who searched your home that day was 16 kilograms. Given the very high purity levels of the drugs recovered, their aggregate wholesale value was around £398,000, with a potential street value, after adulteration and subdivision, of £5.8 million.
The Crown has accepted that there was no evidence to suggest that any adulteration or subdivision of the drugs was carried out by you. Rather, the extent of your involvement was in keeping the drugs in your house on behalf of others who were involved in the wider supply operation. On any view of matters, however, the supply operation in which you became involved was huge. Had it not been disrupted by your arrest and had this quantity of diamorphine reached the level of street supply, it would have caused enormous damage within the wider community and misery to many people.
I have taken account of what is said in the Criminal Justice Social Work and also of what has been said on your behalf today by your Counsel. In particular, I have taken full account of the fact that you have no previous convictions and that throughout your life to date your employment history has been generally good. I have noted the very unfortunate circumstances which seem to have been the catalyst to you becoming involved in the regular abuse of alcohol and cocaine. Those included a family bereavement and a relationship break-up. I have taken account of your explanation as to how you came to have custody of the drugs as well as the mental health issues which have affected you over the years, and in respect of which you have self-referred and received counselling. I have taken into account also the positive steps that you have taken to address your issues with drugs and alcohol. These are all factors to which I have had regard in mitigation of the sentence that I am about to impose.
I have noted the conclusion of the social worker that you are unlikely to re-offend. I require nevertheless to have regard to the sentencing objectives of punishment and deterrence. Given the quantity of Class A drugs with which you became concerned, and taking into account all of the material before me, I have come to the conclusion that only a custodial sentence is appropriate in this case. The mitigating factors advanced on your behalf will, of course, be reflected in the length of that sentence.
I have also had regard to what is said in the English Authoritative Guidance on the sentencing of offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act. In terms of that Guidance, the quantity of drugs in this case is more than three times the top end of the upper range of that Guidance. On the other hand, your personal involvement falls within the lowest of the three bands of responsibility identified in those Guidelines.
Having regard to all of these factors, and had you been found guilty after trial, the sentence which I would have imposed would have been one of 7 years imprisonment. In light of your plea of guilty at the Preliminary Hearing stage, I have discounted that by a just over quarter to a sentence of imprisonment of 5 years to run from today.”
27 August 2020