HMA v Kevin Power

At the High Court in Edinburgh today Judge Hughes sentenced Kevin Power to a total of eight years and six months imprisonment together with an extended sentence of eighteen months after he was found guilty of being involved in the supply of a controlled drug, assault, demanding money and attempted extortion. On sentencing Judge Hughes made the following statement in court:

You have been convicted of being involved in the supply of a controlled drug, namely Diamorphine and of assault, demanding money and attempted extortion all whilst you were subject to bail orders. In particular the jury accepted that you were involved in a campaign to assault and intimidate various persons with a view to obtaining money to settle drugs debts.

Your crimes are linked to the evil misuse of drugs culture which blights our communities. The jury heard evidence from your victims; unfortunate persons who had been lured into taking drugs and who quickly found that their habits grew out of control. They all ended up in severe financial hardship. They were  assaulted  and they and their families were intimidated by you with a view to enforcing their drug debts. Your victims came from good homes. Some of them had trades and had the ability to maintain themselves and their families. They lost all of that because of their drugs dependency. In some cases they had fallen out with their family and they have now become a burden on our society. This has all been caused by an evil trade.

You are directly linked to that trade. You have been convicted of supplying drugs but more importantly you have been attempting to enforce and recover drug debts from people who are struggling to maintain themselves. I am told by your counsel that you now acknowledge your involvement in this. I am also told that you consider yourself to be a victim in this. If that is so, then you must appreciate the difficulties you have caused your own victims and their families. This is a course of behaviour that the courts cannot tolerate. Society must be aware of the fact that our courts take a very serious view of those who deal in drugs and cause misery and terror to others when they attempt to enforce payment for drugs debts. Those convicted of such crimes can expect severe punishment.

Because of your record of previous convictions and the serious nature of your offences a custodial sentence is inevitable.

Dealing with charge one, namely the contravention of Section 4 (3) (b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, I accept that the value of the drugs involved was extremely low. Such a charge, if on its own, could have been dealt with in the sheriff summary court.  I will therefore impose a sentence of one year imprisonment together with an additional six months for the bail aggravation. In respect of all the remaining charges I impose a sentence of six years imprisonment with a further sentence of one year for the bail aggravations. All of these sentences will run consecutively to each other giving a total of eight and a half years. This will be backdated to 7th March 2017 when you were first remanded in custody.

I have read the terms of the Criminal Justice Social Work report and the analysis of your risk assessment. In view of the suggestion contained therein I have therefore decided to impose an extended sentence of eighteen months.

In summary you will serve a custodial sentence of eight and a half years imprisonment to run from 7th March 2017 together with an extended sentence of eighteen months.