HMA v DAWN SYLLA

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Uist sentenced Dawn Sylla to 3 years 4 months imprisonment after she pled guilty to smuggling cocaine into the country on 4 March 2013.

9 July 2013

On sentencing Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

"You pleaded guilty to smuggling 4.76 kilos of high purity cocaine with a maximum potential street value of £1,081,000 into Edinburgh Airport on 4 March this year. The drugs were concealed within the base of your suitcase. Had these drugs been passed on to their intended recipient they would have caused enormous damage to those who take them and to the community in general. It is fortunate that they were intercepted and that the harm which they would have caused has been prevented.

You are now 55 years old and have no previous convictions. This was no doubt why you were chosen to act as the courier of these drugs. I have considered the criminal justice social work report on you and all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation and I note that your life has not been without its problems as well as the fact that you have been a responsible member of the community up till now. Had that not been the case the sentence which I am about to impose would have been longer.

Those who become involved in smuggling illegal drugs into the country must be well aware of the risks which they are running and be prepared to take the consequences when brought to justice.

Had you been convicted by a jury after trial I would have imposed a sentence of 5 years imprisonment. As you pleaded guilty at an early stage that sentence will be discounted to 3 years 4 months imprisonment and will run from 5 March 2013."

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