HMA v JAQUELINE HOWIE

At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Pentland sentenced Jacqueline Howie to four years imprisonment after she pled guilty to money laundering and being concerned in the supplying of a Class B drug.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court.

15 November 2013

“Jacqueline Howie, you pled guilty firstly to a serious offence of being concerned in the supplying of the Class B controlled drug colloquially referred to as Mephedrone between May 2012 and January 2013. This is one of the so-called designer drugs, about which there has understandably been considerable public concern due to the undoubted harm they can cause. You have pleaded guilty also to a money laundering offence contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act by transferring or attempting to transfer more than £33,000 out of Scotland.  This money was the proceeds of drug dealing and was destined for various individuals in the Far East, who were obviously connected to the illegal international trade in drugs. It is clear from the agreed narrative of the facts that you were a willing and frequent participant in drug dealing and that you played a significant role over a considerable period of time. 

I take account of all that has been said on your behalf today and of the difficulties and traumas you have faced in your life and their effects on your mental health and decision-making abilities. However, none of that background can possibly justify your active and prolonged involvement in supplying dangerous drugs. You of all people would have been only too well aware of the misery and destruction that drugs can cause, yet you would appear to have taken no account of the harm that was likely to be caused to others by the drugs that you were involved in supplying. It is important that anyone who might be tempted, for whatever reason, to play a part in the process of supplying dangerous drugs is left in no doubt that he or she is liable to be severely punished when brought before the courts.

I take into account also the information contained in the criminal justice social work report and all the other material placed before me. I acknowledge that you were willing to provide assistance and information to the authorities and that you have now evinced regret and remorse. I am prepared to treat you as a first offender.

I am satisfied in the particular circumstances of the present case that it is appropriate to impose a single cumulo sentence in respect of both charges. Had you not pleaded guilty I would have imposed a sentence of 6 years imprisonment. I accept that your early pleas had certain practical advantages in that a trial did not have to take place and public expense was thereby saved.  In the exercise of the discretion vested in me, I shall modify your sentence to one of 4 years imprisonment. 

The sentence will take effect from today's date.

Finally, in respect of the confiscation proceedings I shall allow Answers to be lodged by 30 December 2013 and then 6 weeks for adjustment. I shall fix a procedural hearing on 10 February 2014.”

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