HMA v JO-ANNA WALLACE & LEE MIDDLEMASS

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Pentland imposed custodial sentences on Jo-Anna Wallace and Lee Middlemass after they pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

“Jo-Anna Wallace and Lee Middlemass you have both pleaded guilty to a serious charge of being concerned in the supplying of the Class A drug cocaine between 18 and 25 October 2012 at the home you then shared in Dalkeith.  Drugs with a potential street value of about £104,000 were found in the flat, along with equipment and materials commonly used in breaking down and adulterating them for the purposes of onward supply.  Bundles of cash amounting to over £7,000 were also found in the property.

The courts have repeatedly made it clear that anyone who chooses to become involved in the process of supplying Class A drugs, for whatever reason, must expect to be severely punished when brought to justice.  Neither of you appears to have taken account of the enormous damage that the illicit trade in controlled drugs causes in communities throughout the country. 

I have listened carefully to all that has been said in mitigation and I have taken accont of the contents of the criminal justice social work reports.  I have considered the psychiatric report in your case Wallace. I note that neither of you has any significant previous convictions.  I acknowledge that you have both now expressed remorse and regret for what you did.   

In your case Wallace I acknowledge that your involvement was at a less serious level than that of your co-accused. Nonetheless you allowed the flat to be used for the storage and adulteration of a substantial quantity of cocaine and the agreed narrative records that you allowed yourself to profit from any money made by your co-accused.  In these circumstances, a non-custodial penalty would, I consider, fail adequately to reflect the gravity of your criminality.  The fact that you now have a young child cannot, as it seems to me, amount to a sufficient reason for not imposing a custodial sentence on you.  You will receive any necessary psychiatric care and support while you are in custody.

Had you not pled guilty I would have sentenced you to 2 years and 6 months imprisonment.  In view of your guilty plea, I shall reduce that sentence to one of 2 years imprisonment.

In your case Middlemass I must take a more serious view of the nature and extent of your involvement in the supplying of the cocaine.  According to the agreed narrative, you were the principal actor in the enterprise.  I note that your motive was financial gain so that you could repay debt.  Had you not pled guilty I would have sentenced you to 5 years imprisonment.  I shall discount that to a term of 3 years and 9 months to take account of your guilty plea, which was tendered at somewhat earlier stage than that of your co-accused.

These sentences will run from today's date”.