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Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs Case Examples

Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs Case Examples

If you or someone you care about has been charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drug, it stands to reason that you might be curious about other Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drug cases. In particular, you might be interested in knowing what past cases were about, and how guilty parties were punished.

Facing any drug offence, especially one as serious as conspiracy to supply class A drugs, can be a frightening experience for anyone, and incredibly disruptive to your personal and professional life. If you have found yourself involved in a conspiracy to supply class A drugs case, it might help to understand more about the offence and what might play out in court. Read on to discover more about the conspiracy to supply class A drugs offence and how other cases have been dealt with by the courts.

What is a conspiracy to supply class A drugs offence?

The crime of conspiracy to supply class A drugs is governed in part by the Criminal Law Act of 1977, but the term ‘conspiracy’ is not actually defined in that law. Rather, the legal understanding of the term is built around the notion of ‘agreement’ and can be broad ranging covering many situations. Instances that might be considered conspiracy to supply class A drugs include:

  • Planning. If you were actively involved in planning the supply of class A drugs, you could be found to be a conspirator. This is the case even if your role was limited solely to planning and you were not actually intending to participate in the crime itself.
  • Facilitating. If you help others to commit the crime, for example, by driving a car to collect a drugs parcel, you may be found to be involved in the conspiracy, even if you did not of the planning or customer supplying yourself. The driving of the car itself is not illegal, but the wider context of the activity facilitates the crime and so accordingly you can be charged.
  • Participating. If you participate in the crime itself, even in a small way, you may be found to be a conspirator. This can include being the courier, as with the example above, or being another part of the supply chain (financing the deal, taking orders, arranging transportation, advertising, directly selling to customers, preparing the drugs, and so on).

Examples of Class A Drugs include crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, LSD, crystal meth, ecstasy (MDMA), and magic mushrooms.

Conspiracy to supply class A drugs case examples


Case Details Judgment Date Sentence Link to Transcript
Scheme to supply drugs across the border to Scotland, with numerous drug-related prior offences 22/05/2014 13 years’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Kelly.pdf
Conspiracy to supply cocaine worth £521,000 26/01/2011 28 years’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Hurtado-and-Esqulant-.pdf
Driving drugs from London to Southampton in scheme to supply said drugs 20/09/2016 3 years’ detention in a young offender’s institution https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Stanislas-and-another.pdf
Group’s supply of criminal gangs in multiple UK counties 24/12/2014 6 to 17 years’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Cooke-and-others.pdf
Conspiracy to supply amphetamine, cocaine, diamorphine, and cannabis 16/12/2016 6.5 years’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Walsh.pdf
Supply of heroin and cocaine on an ‘industrial scale’ 10/07/2014 11 years’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Al-MeskryKhan.pdf
Inferior role in supply of crack cocaine and diamorphine worth around £280 09/09/2016 40 months’ imprisonment and victim surcharge of £120 https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Spruce.pdf


Conspiracy to supply class A drugs cases defended by Stuart Miller Solicitors 

The team at Stuart Miller Solicitors have defended over 10,000 cases successfully to date, and many of these cases involved conspiracy to supply class A drugs. Among our notable cases involving conspiracy to supply class A drugs are:

  • A man charged with conspiracy to supply drugs in a prosecution with over half a million pages of evidence was cleared after the team at Stuart Miller Solicitors dismantled the prosecution’s case and led the court to conclude that there was no case to answer.
  • A man accused of participating in a ‘Breaking Bad’ style crystal meth scheme was accused of conspiracy to produce and supply drugs yet vehemently denied any involvement in the crime. He was acquitted after experts at Stuart Miller Solicitors were able to prove that the accused never took suggestions about the alleged scheme seriously and never had any involvement in the group’s activities.


What are the sentencing guidelines for conspiracy to supply class A drugs offences?

 The courts take conspiracy to supply class A drugs offences very seriously and the maximum sentence that could be given for involvement in supply of class A drugs is life imprisonment and a hefty fine. These cases will always be tried at the Crown Court because of how serious they are.

As with other crimes, including those involving drugs, it may be the case that the court finds particular aggravating or mitigating circumstances applicable to your case. In the case of aggravating factors, this will mean that your punishment will be harsher, and in the case of mitigating factors, that your punishment will be more lenient.

Aggravating factors:

  • close proximity to the manufacturer of the drugs
  • ‘fronting’ via a business
  • the abuse of positions of trust or responsibility (e.g. prison officers or medical professionals)
  • heavily influencing others involved in the supply
  • buying or distributing on a very large (i.e. commercial) scale
  • showing no remorse or regret for what has happened or how it impacted people
  • exploiting vulnerable people (for example, stealing prescription medicine)
  • financial motivations
  • knowledge and understanding of the operation
  • multiple or repeat offences

Mitigating factors:

  • being subject to duress or force in participating
  • being naïve or exploited
  • no or little awareness of the scale of the operation
  • lack of understanding about the crime and its impact
  • no influence on supply chain actors
  • limited role in the supply chain
  • little financial incentive to participate
  • mental illness or insanity impacting behaviours
  • showing of genuine remorse
  • no prior criminal record

 Read more about sentencing conspiracy to supply class A drugs offences.

What are possible defences for conspiracy to supply class A drugs offences?

In drug cases, there are usually two specific defences raised and a number of general defences that might apply. Specific defences relate to the crime itself while general defences relate to the person who is alleged to have committed the crime.

Specific defences include:

  • Lack of awareness. If you truly were in the wrong place at the wrong time and you got caught up in a group who were actually conspiring to supply drugs, you may be able to argue lack of awareness. This defence assumes that you did not know enough about the situation to understand that what was happening was criminal. This defence is highly evidence-dependent, so you will need to prove every aspect of your claim if you intend to rely on it.

General defences include:

  • Duress. It is common for people to get involved in drug operations through force or pressure. If someone has threatened damage or harm to you or someone close to you if you did not participate in the crime, you may be able to rely on the defence of duress. This happens often where, for example, someone threatens to injury or kill the accused’s family member if they do not help with the commission of a crime.
  • Mistake. If at the time of your alleged involvement in the crime you were genuinely mistaken as to the circumstances and you would not have participated had you known the true facts, you might be able to rely on the defence of mistake. Again, this is highly evidence-dependent so make sure you tell your solicitor every detail you can remember so they can help gather evidence to prove the mistake.
  • Insanity. If, through mental illness, you were unable to appreciate the circumstances of the crime and did not understand that what you were doing was against the law, you may be able to claim the defence of insanity. Caution needs to be exercised in arguing this, however, as one consequence of successfully arguing insanity is potential detention under the Mental Health Act of 1983.

While not formally a defence, you may also be able to reduce your sentence through entering an early guilty plea. If you did actually commit the crime and there is strong evidence against you, entering an early plea could lead to as much as one third of your sentence being removed (assuming you are over the age of 18 years). If you enter this plea before proceedings commence, you can benefit from a greater reduction. By contrast, entering a late plea could have little to no effect on your sentence.

How can I get further help?

To get more assistance with a conspiracy to supply class A drugs case, either one you fear facing or have actually been charged with, contact the experts at Stuart Miller Solicitors today. Our highly experienced and friendly team will guide you through what is likely to happen with the case and advise you on how best to prepare a defence. Whether your preference is for meetings online, on the phone, or face-to-face, get in touch today to find out how we could help with your case.

(This page was last updated on November 27, 2023.)


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