HMA v Paul Macaulay

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 1 August 2017, Lord Armstrong sentenced Paul Macaulay to 7 years and 4 months imprisonment after the accused pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supplying of heroin and to dangerous driving.

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

“Paul Frances Macaulay, you have pleaded guilty, by section 76 letter, to a serious charge, that of being concerned in the supplying of heroin, and to a further charge of dangerous driving, in contravention of section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, committed by you in your attempt to avoid being stopped by the police. In approaching the matter of sentence, in relation to charge 1, the road traffic offence, I have watched and noted the filmed footage of the driving concerned, which involved you driving at excessive speed, driving on the pavement and a grass verge, forcing other drivers on a dual carriageway to take evasive action, and negotiating a roundabout on the wrong carriageway in the face of oncoming traffic. In relation to charge 2, I note that the heroin recovered from your car had a purity of 43% and a potential street value of some £520,000.  £15,000, in cash, was also recovered from you.

I accept that you now regret your involvement in these matters. Nevertheless, the effect of your plea is that you stand convicted of participating in the distribution of this evil drug. Heroin is a scourge on our society, and in particular on the lives of young people in Scotland. This court has reiterated time and again that those who are involved in the distribution of heroin, once brought to justice, should expect significant sentences of imprisonment.

I note that your criminal history discloses some 19 previous convictions, dating from 2003, when you were 16 years of age, to March of this year. You are now 30 years of age. You have previously been convicted in this Court, the High Court in Edinburgh, of a contravention of section 4(3)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, when you were sentence to a period of imprisonment of 29 months.

Had I been sentencing you after trial, in relation to charge 2, the charge of being concerned in the supply of heroin, taking into account the whole material facts and circumstances, the amount and value of the drugs involved, the extent of your involvement and your personal circumstances I would have imposed on you a period of imprisonment of 9 years, of which I would have apportioned 1 year in respect of the aggravation of that charge brought about by your connection with serious organised crime. In relation to charge 1, the charge of dangerous driving, if sentencing you after trial, I would have imposed on you the maximum custodial sentence available to me, that being a period of imprisonment of 2 years, to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed in relation to charge 2, and I would have disqualified you from driving for a period of 9 years.

I accept that your early plea must be accorded the benefit of its public utility, and accordingly I discount these sentences to, in respect of charge 2, a period of imprisonment of 6 years, and in respect of charge 1, a period of imprisonment of 1 year 4 months, these sentences to be served consecutively. Accordingly, the overall custodial sentence I am imposing on you is one of 7 years and 4 months. In recognition of your early plea, I order that you be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for a period of 6 years, and until you pass the extended driving test. Your licence will be endorsed.

These sentences will take effect from 8 June 2017, that being the date when you were first detained in relation to these matters.”