Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug / Possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply it to another is governed by Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.4(3), Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, s.5(3). The sentencing guideline for this offence is a prime example of the labyrinthine tortuosity of the thinking processes of the Sentencing Council. It would have been more honest to provide a real tick box for judges instead of this masquerade of one. But notwithstanding all that it is the judge`s remarks which disturb me. By these remarks, in particular, “Potentially this defendant has been denied a really significant right, and that is the right to have a crown court trial in a case where the magistrates should never have retained jurisdiction.” she has arguably brought the law into contempt by her scathing criticism however justified it might or might not have been. I would argue that she would have been wiser to have refrained from making those withering comments and to have put them in writing to the appropriate authority because it is inconceivable that the bench were acting without the full knowledge of the L/A. If, however, that were not the case and the bench`s decision had not previously been conveyed to the L/A both it and s/he have questions to answer. My bench`s actions described above, I would opine, would have been appropriate in this case. Perhaps similar statements were indeed made at the magistrates` court. We do not know. There is no record.
Crown Court judges IMHO do occasionally let their mouths go off before their brains are in gear. This is a sad story for all concerned; the defendant, the bench, the L/A and Her Honour.