B e f o r e :
MRS JUSTICE ANDREWS DBE
THE RECORDER OF LEEDS
(His Honour Judge Collier QC)
(Sitting as a Judge of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division)
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Tuesday 1st May 2018
LADY JUSTICE SHARP: I shall ask Mrs Justice Andrews to give the judgment of the court.
MRS JUSTICE ANDREWS:
"Given the quantity of drugs involved and his distinct role, [the appellant's] case could be said to fall within category 2, with a starting point based on 1 kilogram of cocaine."
They then set out the range in the sentencing guidelines and continued:
"However, it is submitted that the nature and scale of [the appellant's] offending – twice the quantity for the suggested starting point – requires an upward adjustment of the starting point within the above ranges. Furthermore, the high purity of the drugs involved is an aggravating feature in this case."
They then referred to what is said about purity in the definitive guidelines.
"34. … a particular individual within a conspiracy may be shown only to have been involved for a particular period during the conspiracy, or to have been involved in certain transactions within the conspiracy, or otherwise to have had an identifiably smaller part in the whole conspiracy. In such circumstances the judge should have regard to those factors which limit an individual's part relative to the whole conspiracy. It will be appropriate for the judge to reflect that in sentence, perhaps by adjusting the category to one better reflecting the reality.
35. As a balancing factor, however, the court is entitled to reflect the fact that the offender has been part of a wider course of criminal activity. The fact of involvement in a conspiracy is an aggravating feature since each conspirator playing his part gives comfort and assistance to others knowing that he is doing so, and the greater his or her awareness of the scale of the enterprise in which he is assisting, the greater his culpability."
"As far as [the appellant] is concerned, because he was acting as an occasional deliverer for his brother and otherwise a gofer for his brother, it seems to me I can deal with him as having a lesser role, but as I have already said, I am satisfied that not only is he guilty of what the jury found him guilty of, and what he has had to admit as a result of that, but his knowledge of this operation is more than he was ever prepared to accept."
Bearing in mind that the appellant fell below the level of Moylan and Beasley, for whom he had taken the starting point of nine years, before discount for Beasley's guilty plea, the judge took a starting point of eight years' imprisonment for the appellant and adjusted it downwards to seven years and six months to take account of the fact that the appellant had never before been involved in any offending of this nature, despite the fact that he had other previous convictions.