HMA v JASON HALL

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 16 January 2015, Lady Wolffe sentenced Jason Hall to four years imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug.

“Jason Hall, you have pled guilty to a charge of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug, namely, Diamorphine, contrary to section 4(3)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. 

A quantity of drugs, with a maximum potential value of £2,760, was found in your possession in your own flat. You admitted that you intended to sell this from you home and on the streets, as you admitted to doing in the week before these drugs were found. 

You have a serious record of sustained and varied offending. Since 1993 you have accumulated 31 previous convictions for Road Traffic Offences, crimes of dishonesty and disorder and for drugs offences. In relation to the drugs offences, I note that on 2 October 2001 at the High Court in Edinburgh you were convicted of being concerned in the supplying of a class A drug, Diamorphine, and were sentenced to five years imprisonment. On 16 October 2012 at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court you pled guilty to being concerned in the supplying of Diamorphine and sentenced to 20 months imprisonment. As a result the provisions of section 205B of the 1995 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act apply to you. 

The law requires that I impose a minimum sentence of seven years, unless there are specific circumstances relating to any of the offences or to you, such as to make that sentence  unjust. 

In mitigation I am asked to take into account that your plea was tendered at the earliest opportunity; that the value of drugs recovered was relatively low and would itself not have brought this case before the High Court; and that you do not have a lavish lifestyle but became engaged in a social supply, having been tempted back into a drug-taking lifestyle upon resuming your relationship with your former partner. I have taken into account all that has been said in mitigation on your behalf. 

You have a bad record disclosing a wide variety of offending over a period of more than twenty years. You have been subject to numerous Drug Testing and Treatment Orders. You have also had periods of imprisonment for the two previous drugs offences I have already mentioned. It is said that you achieved a period of being drug-free. 

The abuse of drugs is a ruinous blight on the lives of many in modern society. Parliament has decreed that once there are two convictions for the misuse of drugs of the requisite character, as you have, that you be subject to a minimum period of imprisonment. However, taking into account all that has been said on your behalf, I am prepared to accept the specific circumstances advanced and to exercise the discretion under section 205B(3) and to impose a lesser sentence than that set out in section 205B(2). 

The sentence I impose is one of four years. But for the early plea, the sentence I would have been imposed would have been six years. This will be backdated to the date on which you were taken into custody on this matter, being 10 October 2014.”

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