HMA v Joshua English

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 13 January 2017, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Joshua English to there-and-a-half years’ imprisonment after the accused pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

On sentencing, Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:

“Joshua English, you have pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine, a class A drug. The amount of drugs involved was nearly one and a half kilos with a potential street value of £100,000.

From the narrative it appears that your role was to relay instructions to your former co-accused Edward Church and to pass on the description of his car to a third party.

While you yourself did not handle the drugs you were a vital cog in the wheel without which the transaction could not have taken place.

I have listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf. I understand that you became involved in a misguided attempt to protect Mr Church and also because of the threats to you.

I have read the reference submitted on your behalf. It is to your great credit that you have been volunteering at the Haven centre.

You have a minor record which is of no materiality for these purposes.

I also take into account your medical condition, but I am satisfied that it does not impede you serving a custodial sentence.

However, while taking these matters into account the fact is that you were concerned in the supply of a significant quantity of a class A drug.

Your former co-accused, Edward Church pled guilty at the preliminary hearing and received a sentence of three years imprisonment, discounted from four years.

I see no reason to distinguish between the two of you. The only real difference is the stage at which you tendered your plea.

Had you been convicted after trial I would have imposed a sentence of four years imprisonment. In view of the plea I shall discount that to one of three years six months to run from today’s date.”