Drugs Offences

BSQ Court of Appeal Success in Drug Trafficking Case

A BSQ client has had his sentence significantly reduced by the Court of Appeal. The Appeal Judges reduced the sentence imposed for drugs charges for BSQ client SK from 16 years to 10 years at London's Criminal Appeal Court yesterday, accepting our submissions that there was no evidence SK was a major player in a drugs gang.

33lb of cocaine had been found at our clients address. The Prosecution claimed he had a "leading role" in importation and distribution.

The Defence disputed their assertion his business was a cover for the drugs, stating that it was "an ordinary and genuine business run by his family for generations" and claimed SK did not have a lead role. He stood only to make a modest return from the drugs he was storing.

Lord Justice Leggatt said: "These submissions have some force. The sentencing judge was not justified in attributing to him a leading role."

"There are, in this case, exceptional circumstances which justify a reduction in the sentence that would otherwise be appropriate," he said.

"We quash the sentence of 16 years and substitute one of 10 years. To that extent, this appeal is allowed."

The decision is significant as although not a binding precedent it does demonstrate that the Appeal Courts will scrutinise prosecution assertions that those involved in drugs offending hold “leading roles’ within criminal organisations.

If a defendant’s role is wrongly defined, the mechanistic application of proscribed tariffs in the SGC guidelines can lead to manifestly excessive sentences such as that of SK. Applying the sentencing guidelines for serious drugs cases anyone said to be in a leading role and convicted of importing or supplying over 5kg of cocaine faces a starting point of sentence of 14 years within a range of 12- 16 years.

SK was represented by BSQ partner Goran Stojsavljevic who specialises in representing individuals in serious drugs and organised crime cases. Counsel was Richard Furlong of Carmelite Chambers.

Read more at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-45501775

If you have been accused in a serious drugs case and require assistance please call our London offices.

Drugs Investigation Discontinued After BSQ Partner's Intervention

Following representations from BSQ partner Dan Godden on behalf of a private youth client the police have discontinued an investigation into drugs possession and supply offences.

Daniel was instructed by the client’s family. Concerns raised by Daniel over the continuity of evidence establishing the chain of custody for substances found led to the police deciding not to proceed, accepting our representations that there was no realistic prospect of conviction at the pre-charge stage. 

if you require advice in the course of a criminal investigation at the police station stage please do not hesitate to contact our London offices on 0208 411 0221 (24 hours).

Drug Case Diversion Success for Berkeley Square Solicitors

Further cementing our reputation for assisting our clients to avoid criminal prosecution, Berkeley Square Solicitors has achieved another notable success.

After discovering that our client was importing large quantities of GBL (also related to the substance GHB) to the UK, police found large quantities of the drug at his home. After lengthy and protracted negotiations with the police, led by Roger Sahota, a decision was taken not to prosecute our client, despite the fact that the arrest originally concerned allegations of conspiracy to import the drug.

GHB and GBL are both Class C drugs. GBL is widely available for legitimate industrial use. Supplying orpossessing the substance is a criminal offences knowing or believing it will be swallowed and ingested. Possession could result in a two year prison sentence. Supply carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.

Please contact our offices for a confidential discussion should you require any advice in connection with a criminal drugs investigation.

   
 

Client Guide to Cannabis Cultivation Cases Part 2 – What Happen When It All Goes Wrong?

Client Guide to Cannabis Cultivation Cases Part 2 – What Happen When It All Goes Wrong?

 Through word of mouth and our reputation we have a large number of clients approach us after they have sought advice elsewhere. 

 

Often this will be at the appeal stage.  By then, the damage would often be done.  Cases will have been poorly prepared and the assumptions, yield estimates and valuations relied on by the prosecution will not have been challenged.  Consequently, as the sentencing guidelines are based on a tariff system which reflects the quantity or yield produced by an operation combined with an assessment of the “sophistication and degree of involvement of the offender” individuals are sentenced to longer terms then they would have been.

 In a recent case before the Court of Appeal, the problems that arise when cases are not properly prepared was graphically illustrated. 

Client Guide to Cannabis Cultivation Cases Part 1 – Challenging the Police Experts Report

Client Guide to Cannabis Cultivation Cases Part 1 – Challenging the Police Experts Report

 

This client guide has been prepared in response to numerous queries from our criminal defence clients who have approached us having been dissatisfied with the advice that they have received from other sources when they have been prosecuted for cannabis cultivation offences.

Unlike many other lawyers practising in this area, we always instruct forensic experts to comment on the conclusions relied on by the Prosecution when presenting their case to the court. 

Are The Police Cracking Down On Home Cannabis Cultivators?

Are The Police Cracking Down On Home Cannabis Cultivators?

Very little data is available on the numbers of prosecutions in this area and we are undertaking research at the moment on this topic.  However we have noticed that whereas traditionally, importers brought in large quantities of herbal cannabis from Europe and in particular the Netherlands there is a growing trend now for domestic cultivation in the UK.