Possession with Intent to Supply Case Examples

Possession with Intent to Supply Case Examples

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

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If you are facing a possession with intent to supply offence, you are likely worried about what might happen if your case goes to trial and are thinking desperately about ways you might be able to defend yourself. As you prepare your defence with the help of an expert criminal defence solicitor, it might set your mind at ease to learn more about the offence and consider how similar cases of possession with intent to supply have been dealt with by the courts in the past.

What are possession with intent to supply offences?

Possession with intent to supply is an offence covering situations where a person has a controlled drug in their possession, whether lawfully or not, with the intent to supply it to another who has no legal right to possess it.

In this respect, ‘supplying’ itself is a simple concept. It just involves passing the controlled drug from one person to another; there is no requirement that profit is made on that supply.

Possession with intent to supply offences are governed by the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. To be found guilty under that Act, the prosecution must prove:

  1. That you were in possession of drugs (meaning they were in your custody or control)
  2. That the drugs are controlled (according to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Schedule 2), and
  3. That you intended to supply the drugs to another

Factors that indicate evidence of your intention to supply include:

  • Possession of a large quantity of drugs not consistent with personal use
  • Possession of uncut drugs, suggesting the need for processing for supply
  • Possession of a variety of different drugs
  • Evidence of preparation for sale, for example, possession of many small bags of drugs cut into individual ‘portions’
  • Drug-related equipment and paraphernalia in the care or control of the subject, for example, bags, scales, cutting agents, foil, and so on
  • Large amounts of otherwise unexplained cash
  • Multiple telephones
  • Documents containing information about suppliers, customers, and others in the supply chain
  • Records of orders on mobile phones or other devices
  • Inexplicably extravagant lifestyle compared to purported employment

Possession with intent to supply case examples

 

Case Details Judgment Date Sentence Link to Transcript
Supplying drugs to another as part of joint purchase of drugs 27/01/2016 12 months’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Ghalghal.pdf
Supply of Class A drugs to a close friend resulting in accidental death 25/09/2013 6 months’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Harrod.pdf
Street dealing of cocaine while on suspended sentence 30/04/2015 2 years and 8 months’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Leigh.pdf
Group’s supply of Class A drugs to undercover police officers 05/11/2013 16 months to 8 years’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Dyer-and-others.pdf
Taxi driver (drug ‘courier’) in possession of £100,000 worth of high purity heroin with intent to supply 11/11/2014 3 years’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Bowman.pdf
Supply of large quantities of heroin when defendant thought it was cannabis 14/05/2001 6 years’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Ngiam.pdf
Supply of cannabis for ‘medical’ reasons 24/03/2015 3 years’ imprisonment https://crimeline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Edwards.pdf

Possession with intent to supply cases defended by Stuart Miller Solicitors

Possession with intent to supply is a common charge, and the team at Stuart Miller Solicitors deal with cases like this every single day. Some notable cases include:

  • A man selling balloons of nitrous oxide at a music festival in London was spared jail and handed down a suspended prison term after his defence team from Stuart Miller Solicitors persuaded the jury to have mercy on the individual.
  • A passenger in a car was acquitted after the team at Stuart Miller Solicitors successfully defended his case, proving the passenger had no knowledge of the cocaine and heroin found hidden in a car in which he was traveling.

What are the sentencing guidelines for possession with intent to supply offences?

Possession with intent to supply is a very serious crime and the media seems to be full of stories of those who truly had ‘the book thrown at them’ when it came to their day in court. Drugs cause innumerable social and economic problems and in an attempt to quash these issues, the UK government has put strict rules in place around their use. Being found in breach of these rules can have devastating consequences, but there is a lot that goes into sentencing so it is worth understanding the various rules.

Generally, sentences are given according to the class of drug involved, as well as aggravating and mitigating factors (as with other crimes).

  • Class A drugs (such as meth, mushrooms, LSD, heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, or ecstasy) may attract as high a sentence as life imprisonment and an unlimited fine
  • Class B drugs (such as cannabis, ketamine, synthetic cathinones, codeine, and amphetamines) may attract up to 14 years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine
  • Class C drugs (such as steroids, diazepam, and khat) may also attract up to 14 years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine

As with other crimes, the courts may consider aggravating and mitigating factors to decide on your sentence. In drugs cases, these might include:

Aggravating factors:

  • being close to the source
  • using a business as a front
  • abusing positions of trust or responsibility (e.g. medical professionals)
  • influencing others in the supply chain
  • buying or distributing on a commercial scale
  • not showing remorse
  • exploiting vulnerable individuals (for example, stealing prescription medicine)
  • being motivated by financial gain
  • awareness of the scale of the operation
  • multiple or repeat offences

Mitigating factors:

  • being forced into participation
  • involvement through naivety/exploitation
  • little awareness of the scale of the operation
  • lack of understanding about the impact of the crime on victims
  • no influence on supply chain
  • limited role with supervision of ‘superiors’ in the supply chain
  • low or no financial incentive to participate
  • mental illness
  • showing of genuine remorse
  • the given offence being the person’s first

Read more about possession with intent to supply sentences.

What are possible defences for possession with intent to supply offences?

Drug offences are often tough to sentence because there are numerous different types of drugs, aggravating and mitigating factors, and other circumstances that come into play. That said, there are some defences that you might be able to rely upon to get your case thrown out, or to secure a lighter punishment. The specific defences of ‘personal use’ or ‘lack of knowledge’ can be used, or you can rely on one of the many general defences that could apply to drug-related crimes.

Specific defences include:

  • Personal use. If you have been found with a controlled drug, you may be able to argue that the drug was for personal use only. The existence of large drug quantities and/or paraphernalia such as weighing scales, bags, telephone numbers, and large amounts of otherwise unexplained cash will make this argument highly unlikely, but if found with a small amount of a controlled drug you may be released on this basis.
  • Lack of knowledge. If you did not know you were in possession of a controlled drug, or that you were in possession of a drug in the first place, you may be able to rely on the defence of lack of knowledge. This might occur where, for example, someone plants drugs in your luggage as you travel and then retrieves it at a later time. This defence is highly circumstantial, so you will need strong evidence to show you genuinely did not know of the drug’s presence.

General defences include:

  • If you were forced to possess the drug and related paraphernalia (for example, if someone threatens to harm you if you do not courier it to another location in your car) then you may be able to rely on duress. You must have genuinely feared harm for this defence to be successful, and evidence will need to be provided to show the threat existed as you claim it did.
  • If you were drugged or drunk such that you could not form the intention to commit the offence, you may be able to rely on the defence of intoxication. This defence only really applies if you have been involuntarily intoxicated, however, so if you drank or took drugs under your own will, this will not succeed.
  • If you were genuinely mistaken as to the circumstances surrounding the alleged offence and you would not have committed the offence had you known the true facts, you could rely on the defence of mistake.

Read more about defences to possession with intent to supply cases.

How can I get further help?

Being charged with an offence like possession with intent to supply can be highly stressful, and at times frightening. If you would like further help in understanding how possession with intent to supply cases area dealt with, contact the friendly team at Stuart Miller Solicitors today. We can arrange a meeting in person, online, or over the phone, and you can even text us on WhatsApp if you’re not quite ready to chat to someone in person. Get in touch to find out more.

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