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Heroin courier's sentence was not 'unduly lenient'

Tue, 23 Aug 2016

Appeal judges have ruled the sentence handed down to a pregnant woman who was caught importing heroin to the Isle of Man was not 'unduly lenient'.
The case against 34-year-old Louise Creer from Port Erin was brought before the High Court of Justice last month. 
In June this year Creer was sentenced to four years and six months in prison - it followed her arrest in February for trying to import more than 85 grams of the Class A substance to the Island. 
The drug had a street value of over £8,000 - during her time in hospital Creer discovered she was pregnant; she later pleaded guilty to production and possession of the drug with intent to supply. 
At the time of sentence Deemster Montgomerie gave her a one third reduction saying he was showing mercy as due to a lack of facilities at the prison the baby would be removed once born. 
Following the verdict the Attorney General's Chambers contended the sentence was unduly lenient and it was referred to the Appeal Division. 
In the judgement Judge of Appeal Tattersall, and Deemsters Doyle and Bailhache, ruled the prosecutor couldn't give 'any reasoned argument' to support that submission. 
They highlighted the prosecutor herself had said 'sentencing was an art and not a science' adding the aggravating factors put forward - including the quantity of drugs and previous convictions - were not deemed as such. 
Summing up the appeal the trio said "we do not think that such an approach is justified nor that the interests of justice will be served by increasing the respondent's current sentence".  


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