HMA v Kris Godsman and Lee Paterson

At the High Court in Aberdeen today, 24 January 2018, Lord Summers sentenced Kris Godsman to seven years’ imprisonment and Lee Paterson to two years’ imprisonment after they were each convicted of being concerned in the supplying of heroin and cocaine.

On sentencing, Lord Summers made following statement in court:

“Kris Godsman, you have been found guilty by the jury of two serious offences. The gravity of your conduct is compounded by the large number of previous convictions you have amassed since 1999, many of them for drugs-related offences.

“The schedule of previous convictions records in excess of 40 prior offences. Prominent among these convictions are your previous convictions for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. 

“On 30 June 2011 you were convicted of two charges under section 4(3)(B) in Aberdeen Sheriff Court. One charge concerned heroin and the other cannabis resin.

“On 7 February 2014 you were again convicted at Aberdeen sheriff Court of an offence under section 4(3)(B). The drug involved was heroin. 

“On 8 June 2015 you were convicted at Aberdeen Sheriff Court once more under section 4(3)B. This offence also involved heroin.  

“The Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 section 205B states that where someone has at least two offences of trafficking class A drugs and is convicted on indictment in the High Court of another such offence the court shall sentence that person to at least seven years’ imprisonment. 

“I have listened carefully to your counsel in mitigation and am satisfied that there are no specific circumstances which would make it just to dis-apply this provision. 

“Having regard to the fact that you have three and not two analogous offences for supply you may be fortunate that it is only now that you have been tried before the High Court. 

“In these circumstances and having regard to the blight that drugs are on society and your role in spreading that blight, I sentence you to seven years’ imprisonment effective from 9 August 2017 when you were taken into custody. This sentence is passed for each offence and will run in cumulo.

“Lee Paterson, you offered to plead guilty at an early stage to charges 1 and 2 by section 76 letter.  The Crown accepted the plea when it was renewed after the closure of the Crown case.

“You are in my judgement entitled to get the benefit of the discount that goes with an offer to plead guilty by section 76 letter.

“In considering what an appropriate sentence in your case might be, I note that your criminal record makes equally dismal reading. You have amassed nearly 50 convictions in a 10-year offending period from 2005 to 2015.

“I note that your criminal career to date largely consists in road traffic offences, offences of dishonesty, in particular the theft of cars, with a sprinkling of assaults.

“I note, however, that until today you have no drug convictions. This is despite your admission in the letter of 23 January 2018 that you have had a longstanding drug habit and that you became involved in supplying drugs to feed drug debts you had amassed.

“What has brought you to the High Court is your involvement with Mr Godsman in the charges of supply with which he was indicted; offences which given his previous convictions led to the matter being indicted in the High Court.

“I have read the letter you wrote and also the letter written on your behalf. I have come to the view nevertheless that a non-custodial sentence would not be justified.  

“I have decided in your case to sentence you to three years’ imprisonment; this will be reduced by one year to a period of two years effective from 9 August 2017, in light of your offer to plead guilty to charges 1 and 2 from an early date. This sentence is pronounced in respect of each charge and will run in cumulo.  

“I hope that in your further period of confinement you continue to work on your addiction issues so that when you re-join society you do not fall back into your old ways.”