HMA v Craig Bell

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lord Fairley sentenced Craig Bell to imprisonment for four years after the offender pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and diamorphine at a park.

On sentencing, Lord Fairley made the following statement in Court: 

“Craig Bell, you have pled guilty to being concerned in the supplying of cocaine and diamorphine, both of which are Class A controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1971.

From a search of your person, from within your car, and from a sports pavilion rented by you at Zetland Park in Grangemouth, police officers recovered cocaine weighing, in total, 746 grams and diamorphine with a total weight of 129 grams. In each case, the drugs recovered were of high purity. In addition, police officers recovered from your possession, scales, knives, bags with traces of controlled drugs and large quantities of adulterants.  The total street value of the drugs recovered – assuming a level of adulteration prior to sale – is agreed to be approximately £270,000. 

All of this demonstrates to me that you were involved in a significant operation for the supplying of Class A drugs. I accept that you were not the directing mind of this drug supply operation. Rather, you were a link in the drug supply chain, albeit an important one.

I have taken account of everything set out in the Criminal Justice Social Work Report and also what has been said on your behalf today by your legal representative. In particular, I take fully into account what has been said about your personal, family and employment backgrounds and about the circumstances in which you came to be involved in the activities which bring you before this Court today.

You have a very limited record of previous convictions in 2000 and 2001 for relatively minor offences of dishonesty and disorder. Those offences were all committed when you were a teenager. You have no previous convictions for offending involving drugs. For the purpose of sentencing today, I proceed on the basis that you are, for all practical purposes, a first offender.

You will appreciate nonetheless that the gravity of the charges to which you have pled guilty and the quantity of Class A drugs involved leave me with no alternative but to impose a substantial sentence of imprisonment. This Court has repeatedly stressed the misery caused by operations which supply Class A drugs in these quantities. Those operations would not be able to function effectively without the involvement of those who assist them, as you did.

Had you been convicted after trial, I would have imposed a cumulo sentence on Charges 1 and 2 of six years imprisonment. In view of your pleas to those charges, and the timing of those pleas, I shall restrict that sentence by one third to a period of imprisonment of four years.

Since you have been on bail since your first appearance on petition on 3 June of last year, that sentence will run from today.