The Attorney General v William John Scobie

CourtRoyal Court
JudgeF.C. Hamon,O.B.E.,Jurats Potter,Tibbo,Bullen,Georgelin,Allo,Myles
Judgment Date10 October 2002
Neutral Citation[2002] JRC 189
Date10 October 2002

[2002] JRC 189


(Samedi Division)


F.C. Hamon, Esq., O.B.E., Commissioner, and Jurats Potter, Tibbo, Bullen, Georgelin, Allo and Myles.

The Attorney General
William John Scobie

J. C. Gollop, Esq., Crown Advocate.

Advocate C.M. Fogarty for the defendant.


Campbell & Ors v AG (1995) JLR 136 C of A.

A.G. v Bain (2nd December, 1996) Jersey Unreported; [1996/227]

Sentencing by the Superior Number of the Royal Court, to which the defendant was remanded by the Inferior Number on 23 rd August, 2002, following a change of plea to guilty to:

1 count of: Being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of a controlled drug contrary to Article 77(b) of the Customs and Excise (General Provisions) (Jersey) Law 1972

Count 1: cannabis resin.

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: cannabis resin.

Age: 44.

Details of Offence:

Scobie together with another man, Bain was involved in a conspiracy in 1995 to import 16.1 kilograms of cannabis resin into Jersey. (See A.G. v Bain (2nd December, 1996) Jersey Unreported; [1996/227].) The value of the cannabis in 1995 was £92,787 and there had been no increase in the street value of cannabis between then and 2002. The cannabis had been concealed in a wooden box secreted in a settee ordered from a shop in Glasgow for delivery to a Mr Hudson whose address was given as Bain's address in Jersey. The settee had been purchased by Scobie. The settee was duly delivered to Bain's address where the wooden box was removed from the settee and the cannabis hidden in Bain's bathroom. It was found there on a Police search the same evening. Scobie left the Island prior to his arrest and whilst an arrest warrant was obtained Scobie remained at liberty until he handed himself in voluntarily to the Police in December, 2001. Scobie initially entered reserved pleas before the Magistrate's Court and then not guilty pleas on indictment. On his application two weeks prior to trial he was permitted to change his pleas to guilty. The Crown took as its starting point 8 years. This was the same starting point as taken in the case of Bain. The Crown justified it in the case of Scobie not only in terms of the value and quantity of the drugs involved but also the level of involvement of Scobie in what was considered to be a joint and complex enterprise between Scobie and Bain. In the Crown's view the essential issue to be considered was the value to be placed upon the guilty plea. The evidence against Scobie was strong including forensic evidence linking him to the counts. Whilst he was entitled to be rewarded for his guilty pleas as it did avoid a trial, in all of the circumstances a full one third reduction was not warranted. Confiscation Order in the sum of £1 sought.

Details of Mitigation:

The Defence contended that the starting point should be lower on evidential grounds than that for Bain and it was suggested that it should not exceed 5 years. It was contended that Bain and Scobie were not equal partners and while Scobie did not deny that he was present when the cannabis was taken out (his fingerprints were on the wrappings) he denied being involved in inserting the cannabis inside the box and denied knowing the cannabis was being imported. Scobie claimed...

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