AG v Johnstone

CourtRoyal Court
JudgeF.C. Hamon,Jurats de Veulle,Allo
Judgment Date21 May 2004
Neutral Citation[2004] JRC 90
Date21 May 2004

[2004] JRC 90


(Samedi Division)


F.C. Hamon, Esq., O.B.E., Commissioner and Jurats de Veulle and Allo.

The Attorney General
Derek Johnstone

Mrs S Sharpe, Crown Advocate.

Advocate C.M. Fogarty for the Defendant.


A.G. v Pearce (20th October, 2000) Jersey Unreported; [2000/205].

A.G. v Lopes (12th May, 2000) Jersey Unreported; [2000/81].

1 count of: Being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of a controlled drug, contrary to Article 61(2)(b) of the Customs and Excise (Jersey) Law 1999.

Count 1: Cannabis resin

Age: 25

Plea: Guilty

Details of Offence:

Defendant imported “nine bars” of cannabis in his wash bag, having arrived off the ferry from Portsmouth. When he was searched, he admitted that the cannabis was his, having purchased it for £320 in Scotland. When charged he indicated he would plead guilty. Total weight 254.14 grams (8.96 oz). In Jersey street value £1,440; wholesale value £1,211.

Details of Mitigation:

Had been on bail since arrest; low risk of re-offending; drug free for previous four to six weeks; a talented chef, just promoted junior sous-chef at prestigious 5 star Jersey hotel. Ten impressive references handed up, together with curriculum vitae and letter from Defendant himself expressing remorse

Previous Convictions:



5 months' imprisonment (9 months' starting point); forfeiture and destruction of drugs.

Sentence and Observations of Court:

5 months' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months; forfeiture and destruction of drugs.


The Crown Advocate has fully summarised the facts which are accepted. Johnstone at first denied possessing drugs but a search of his car by Customs Officers at the Harbour revealed 254.14 grams of cannabis hidden in the vehicle in two parcels one in his baggage and one in a tobacco tin in the front of the car.


It is accepted that this was for his personal use and he has no previous convictions. A report from Mr Gafoor assesses his risk of re-offending to be low. The Court has had the advantage of studying all the cases referred to and the very detailed and helpful Probation Report.


Miss Fogarty has referred us to references which we have studied carefully. He had lost his original post as a chef because of these offences but he has found an alternative post, which is to his credit, in an equally prestigious hotel....

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