Test purchase sentence
Our client was caught in a police operation but we successfully argued his sentence should be lower than the prosecution proposed.
Our client was charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply and conspiring to supply drugs along with several others. Police launched Operation Topanga as a direct result of complaints from local residents around an area in East London. The issue was featured on the BBC News website after residents altered a parking space to read ‘Drug Dealers Only’ –
Police officers devised the operation to deal with community concerns to try and eradicate or at least significantly reduce the harm to the community from drug dealers. Test purchase officers bought Class A controlled drugs on 37 occasions. Drugs were found hidden at our client’s address and he was seen to spit out drugs and give them to test purchase officers following the handover of monies.
Our client pleaded guilty to three counts on the indictment.
The prosecution tried to argue that our client held a significant role within a drugs network. On the current Sentencing Guideline that would have put him at a sentence starting point of 4 years and 6 months’ imprisonment. However persuaded the judge that his involvement was considerably less than that argued by the prosecution and he received a prison sentence of 3 years.
Read more here (Times subscription required).
Rachel Hobba was the solicitor and Claudia Barker represented our client in court.