Here at the UK Criminal Law Blog we can’t give legal advice. But, we can go this far – if you’re a drug dealer, then it’s best to try and hide the evidence of said drug dealing. Specifically, if we may be so bold, don’t take photographs of you surrounded by drugs and with large wads of cash and leave them on your phone. Apart from the fact that you may accidentally text them to your granny, if the police come and search your house and find them, you’re really just doing their job for them.
This is advice that Eugene May-Dyer (24), Russell Turner (18), Ian Cunningham (24) and Grant Barnhurst (21) could have used. In February 2013 they were minding their own business at home when the police raided their house and found phones with 60,000 messages and images concerning drug dealing (including the two images on this page). As a result, they were charged with conspiracy to supply a Class B drug (namely cannabis).
They were sentenced on 2nd May 2014 to prison as follows :
- Eugene May-Dyer – 13 months
- Russell Turner – 12 months
- Ian Cunningham – 9 months
- Grant Barnhurst – 9 months
We are told that the amount of cannabis involved was about £1,000 worth. This is about 175g worth of cannabis (depending on a variety of factors). There are sentencing guidelines for drug offences. The quantity of drugs makes this towards the bottom end of the scale (Category 3 because of the weight and it involved ‘street dealing’). It seems that this was a ‘home grown’ operation between the four of them, so it is difficult to assess results but I would have thought that they would have been in the Significant role, but perhaps slightly aggravated.
This gives a starting point of 1 year in prison, with a range of six months to 3 years. Without knowing more details, it is not easy to say what we make of the sentence, but it would appear to be in the right range, especially as there appears to have been guilty pleas. The differences between the men can be explained by the ages, and possibly their different roles.
The moral? Don’t do drugs. Or deal them. Or at least, if you’re going to deal them, don’t take photos of them.