HMA v Nicholas Hampson

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Nicholas Hampson to 5 years imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

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

“You have pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine, a class A drug. The trafficking in class A drugs is a particularly serious crime. It brings misery to those who become addicted to the drugs and to the communities where such addiction takes hold.

You played a significant role in this operation. You were found with over half a kilo of cocaine. The purity of the large block was 42%.

Alongside that you had all the paraphernalia one expects to find in a drug factory. Chief amongst these was a ten tonne press which would have required 4 men to move. You also had a large drum with over 18 kilos of benzocaine as well as quantities of caffeine, both known cutting agents. The equipment was completed with mixing bowls, scales, plastic gloves and polythene bags. Your role was to receive the drugs and the bulking agents. You then mixed the drugs, weighed them and packaged the drugs for onward supply.

I am told that the value of the items as seen was £125,000. The valuation of the drugs at street level depends on the purity that it is sold at but the maximum possible valuation is over £450,000.

I have read the Criminal Justice Social Work Report and the various references that have been provided to me. Unlike many who appear in these courts it appears that you have had every advantage. You have had a stable childhood and a loving family and partner. You have had a good education and were well on the way to establishing yourself as a civil engineer. You have a good work ethic and you impress family and friends with your compassion and commitment.

Some of the references describe this crime as out of character. That may be so but it is not every one of your background who finds themselves in a situation where they are trusted with half a kilo of cocaine and a significant role in the onward supply of the drug.

I have listened carefully to all that your counsel has said on your behalf. He has described this offence as having been committed out of naivety and stupidity on your behalf. But frankly the dangers of drugs and the serious implications for those who become involved are well known to all. I cannot accept that someone of your background and education would have no comprehension of the seriousness of this offence.

I take into account that this is your first offence and your expressions of remorse for your actions. I note the support of your family and that your conviction will be difficult for them. I have noted the many supportive references on your behalf.

Taking all these matters into account I have concluded that had you been convicted after trial I would have imposed a sentence of 7 years 6 months. In view of the plea I shall discount that sentence to one of 5 years imprisonment. I shall backdate the sentence to 25 April 2017.”