Case arguments by Counsel, Nigel Edwards – our Criminal Fraud and Serious Crime specialist Barrister here at St. Pauls Chambers – sees Judge take ‘exceptional’ course with a defendant regarding their 4th strike drug conviction.
Liaqat Khan, of Meldon Way, Horton Bank Top, who had previously been convicted of drug-dealing, did not receive prison time due to the fact that he had been spending his time helping other addicts to recover and rebuild their lives.
Prosecutor Clare Walsh stated that police witnessed Khan driving a Volkswagen Jetta together with a black BMW X5, on the 3rd June 2016 at 6.20pm, before parking outside of an address in Cutler Heights Lane. Khan was found by police to be in possession of cocaine; the amount of which (2 bags) held a potential street value of £2630.
Reformed addicts gave evidence in support of Khan, showcasing how Khan had helped to transform and overhaul their lives. One ex-addict, James Booth, explained to Bradford Crown Court how Khan was ‘like a big brother, standing over my shoulder and giving me the confidence to say no and do other things.’ Booth went on to elucidate further how Khan ‘seemed to have the answers he was looking for’, which led Booth to be, at the time of testifying, nine months drug-free.
Khan, 37, had previously received convictions for dealing drugs in 2013, and in this October 2016 case was sentenced to five years prison-time for class A drug-possession and intent to supply. At the time of sentencing, Khan was the primary carer for his gravely ill mother. Khan pleaded guilty to a singular offence of the possession of cocaine, as well as intent to supply. However, recorder Eric Elliott QC expressed that, given the circumstances, he felt able to ‘take a wholly exceptional course’. Explaining further that ‘there are certain cases – and I feel this is one of them – which go outside of sentencing guidelines’, Elliot consequently sentenced Khan to two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years, and ordered the carrying out of 200 hours unpaid community work. Detailing further, Elliot stated;
‘I accept this matter is an isolated aberration. In light of all I have heard about you and the way you have tried to refocus your life, it seems to me it is going to be in the interest of the public to take this course.’
At the time of hearing, Khan was on licence for his previous drugs offence. Khan pleaded guilty, stating that he and his friends pooled their money together, with the plan to buy higher quality drugs at a reduced rate. Khan was adamant that there was no intention to sell the drugs on.
Nigel Edwards, his barrister, explained simply that Khan was ‘assisting others’, as ‘that’s what he wants to do’.
With a proven track record of successfully defending those with previous drug convictions in related cases, contact St. Pauls Chambers today if you are experiencing any such issues, and one of our expert barristers will be more than happy to assist you further.