HMA v Ryan Ellis

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 21 June 2018, Lord Arthurson sentenced Ryan Ellis to five years and eight months’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin.

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

“Ryan Ellis, you have tendered a plea of guilty this morning to a single charge of being concerned in the supply of a class A drug on a single day in March 2018 at an address in Edinburgh.

“On 26 February 2018 police officers executing a search warrant found you at a flat in Granton Crescent along with a variety of paraphernalia relating to the supply of drugs together with a quantity of diamorphine.

“You were later found to have concealed upon your person a further quantity of the same drug.  In total these amounts could have generated a street value of £2,200.

“You have been convicted on three previous occasions at indictment level, all in the Sheriff Court.  Of particular relevance to the disposal to be imposed today are your prior convictions for analogous offences under section 4(3)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in May 2005 and again in March 2009.

“In respect of the latter, you were sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.  The drugs involved were the same class A drug which features in this new offence, namely diamorphine.

“I have listened carefully to your solicitor advocate’s helpful submissions advanced in mitigation this morning, and take into account everything that he has put forward on your behalf, in particular regarding your personal circumstances.

“By law you will appreciate that the lowest pre‑discount sentence which the court can pass upon you today is one of seven years’ imprisonment, and further that even in circumstances where a plea is offered and accepted, as here, at the earliest opportunity, there is a further post‑discount minimum period below which the court cannot go in fixing the custodial tariff to be imposed. 

“Notwithstanding the limited period set out in the libel and the relatively low value of the class A drug involved in the charge on this indictment, the court must have regard to the nature of the offence against the background of your prior analogous offending, in respect of which your last relevant conviction led to a sentence of four years’ imprisonment.

“In these whole circumstances, I now sentence you to five years and eight months’ imprisonment, backdated to the date of your initial remand in custody on this matter, namely to 27 March 2018. But for the timing of your plea of guilty to this offence, the sentence would have been one of seven years’ imprisonment.”

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