Hasson v AG

JurisdictionJersey
CourtCourt of Appeal
JudgeR.C. Southwell,Sir de Vic Carey,Bailiff,C.S.C.S. Clarke
Judgment Date15 July 2004
Neutral Citation[2004] JCA 124
Date15 July 2004

[2004] JCA 124

COURT OF APPEAL

Before:

R.C. Southwell, Esq., Q.C., President; Sir de Vic Carey, Bailiff of Guernsey; and C.S.C.S. Clarke, Esq., Q.C.

Jonathan Michael Hasson
and
The Attorney General

Advocate M.J Haines for the Appellant;

C.M.M. Yates, Esq., Crown Advocate.

Authorities.

AG v Welsh (3rd February 2000) Jersey Unreported [2000/21].

Rimmer et al v AG [2001] JLR 373. CA.

AG v Hasson [2003] JRC 153.

AG v Hasson [2004] JRC 036.

Whelan: Aspects of Sentencing in the Superior Courts of Jersey (2 nd Ed'n): pp. 66–73; 161–166.

Harrison v AG [2004] JCA 046 para 31 to 40.

AG v Rahman (10th September 2002) Jersey Unreported; [2002/165].

AG v Harris [2003] JRC 068.

AG v Mohammad [2004] JRC 027.

R v Afzal and Arshad 13 Cr. App. R (S) 145, CA.

Campbell & Ors v AG [1995] JLR 136.

Wright v AG (12th July 1999) Jersey Unreported; [1999/125].

R v Aranguren (1994) 99 Cr. App. R. 347

Appeal against a total sentence of 6 years' imprisonment passed on 23 February, 2004, by the Superior Number of the Royal Court, to which the Appellant was remanded by the Inferior Number on 9 January, 2004, on a guilty plea to:

1 count of: possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply, contrary to Article 6(2) of the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law, 1978:

count 2: heroin, on which count a sentence of 6 years' imprisonment was passed.

[The Crown did not proceed with count 1.]

Admitted breach of a 230 hour Community Service Order and of a 12 months' Probation Order imposed by the Royal Court on 5 September, 2003 and made up as follows: Community Service Order: Count 1 (driving whilst disqualified: 50 hours; Count 2: driving uninsured: 50 hours, concurrent; Count 3: possession of heroin: 180 hours, consecutive; Count 4: possession of cannabis: 5 hours concurrent: Total 230 hours Community Service Order. The 12 months' Probation Order imposed for breach of a Magistrates' Court binding over order and Community Service Order and made up as follows: Counts 1–3 (possession of drugs): 1 year's Probation Order; Count 4: [driving uninsured]: £100 fine or 1 week's imprisonment in default of payment; Count 5: (driving uninsured) 1 year's Probation Order, in respect of which breach, a sentence of 9 months' imprisonment, concurrent, was passed.

Leave to appeal was granted by the Bailiff on 22 May, 2004.

THE PRESIDENT:
1

Mr Hasson is 27 years old. He has lived in Jersey for 7 years, and in recent years in the flat of his partner and her 8 year old son. He has several previous convictions, mostly for theft and the like, but until August 2002 none for drug offences. On 14 August 2002 he was convicted by the Jersey Magistrate's Court of three offences of possession of controlled drugs (and two driving offences), and was ordered to be bound over for 6 months and given a 50 hours community service order. On 27 September 2002 he appeared again before the Magistrate's Court for breach of the two orders, which were continued. On 5 September 2003 he appeared before the Royal Court and was again convicted on two counts of possession of controlled drugs and two driving offences. Breaches of the previous orders were also dealt with. The primary sentences were a probation order of 12 months and 180 hours and 50 hours consecutive community service orders, making a total of 230 hours of community service. In the judgment of the Royal Court the Deputy Bailiff emphasised that the court was then giving Hasson a last chance. If he failed to take this chance to end his drug addiction, and either re-offended or was in breach of the orders, then he would be bound to go to prison.

2

In early October 2003 his partner had to go into hospital with a serious infection and was in hospital for about a fortnight. He alone looked after her son during this time. Doctors' advice was that this episode of infection would be likely to have continuing adverse effects. This was, understandably, a considerable blow to both of them, and she suffered from depression. As a result he failed to keep appointments pursuant to the orders already mentioned.

3

On 29 October 2003 the Jersey Police executed a drugs warrant at their home, and found packages containing brown powder weighing a total of 34.23 grams and containing heroin with a concentration by weight of 7% diamorphine. He immediately made it clear to the police that his partner was in no way involved with the drugs, for which he alone was responsible. He pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply before the Magistrate's Court on 27 November 2003 and before the Royal Court on 9 January 2004.

4

He was sentenced by the Superior Number of the Royal Court (the Deputy Bailiff presiding) on 23 February 2004. The Crown proposed a starting point of 9 years' imprisonment, that is the midpoint in the 20–50 grams bracket of 8 to 10 years in the Rimmer [2001] JLR 373 guidelines.

5

It was stated by Mr Hasson, and accepted by the Crown, that he was minding the heroin overnight for a dealer whom he declined to identify. He had a long-term drug debt of £7,000 to this dealer, and therefore was readily pressured into agreeing to carry out this task of keeping the drugs safe overnight.

6

Mr Hasson said that he was told by the person who handed the drugs to him that the heroin was useless. He tried the heroin out by injecting himself with it three times, and found that it gave him little or no reaction. This was presumably because of the very low percentage of diamorphine in the drugs, only a 7% concentration by weight. Hasson indicated that he assumed the heroin was in course of being...

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