London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
THE RECORDER OF CARDIFF
HER HONOUR JUDGE REES QC
(Sitting as a Judge of the CACD)
|R E G I N A|
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Mr A Ingram appeared on behalf of the Crown
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"Although the procedure set out in the Criminal Practice Direction for dealing with a Newton hearing was not followed, the issue which the judge had to resolve was within a very narrow compass and was clearly defined so that everyone engaged in the hearing was aware of it. There was no injustice. The judge heard the evidence and his conclusion that you were dealing in drugs for profit, albeit on a comparatively small scale, is unassailable. You fall within the category of 'significant role' in the Guidelines.
The judge said he would have imposed a total sentence of 4 years after a trial and from that he deducted a full one-third discount for your guilty pleas even after a Newton hearing in which your basis of plea had been rejected. The resulting sentence of 32 months in total for dealing in five different types of drugs is well within the acceptable range of sentences for offending of this nature. If matters stood there I would not have granted you leave to appeal.
I grant leave, however, for the full court to review your sentence because your counsel says he was not given a proper opportunity to address the judge in mitigation on your behalf. You should not be optimistic about the result of your appeal. The full court might conclude that whatever the procedural shortcomings might be, your sentence is not manifestly excessive."
"I am afraid Mr Mariscotti was an entirely unconvincing witness and I have no difficulty rejecting his account. Stand up then Mr Mariscotti in respect of each of the counts of possession with intent to supply ... "
In other words, there was no pause for particular consideration of the items of mitigation which this appellant may be able to deploy in seeking to reduce the sentence before plea discount below four years.
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