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Drug Offences

Some of the primary legislation

Drugs Act 2005
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
Crime and Disorder Act 1998
Drug Trafficking Act 1994
Customs and Excise Management Act 1979
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Some of our recent notable cases

R v Thomas- Williams (2013) (no link available)
The defendant was charged with possession with intent to supply heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis, total street value £20000. Acquitted on all counts.
Harrow Crown Court before HHJ Aaron and jury January 2013
Michael Hall

R v H (2012) (no link available)
Interlocutory appeal in which stay for abuse was upheld due to legal uncertainty about whether powdered bark & dried cacti containing Class A drugs amounted to preparations or products under Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
[2012] EWCA Crim 525 2/3/2012
Rajiv Menon QC

Regina v Dale (2011) (no link available)
Defence should have been allowed to call expert evidence to demonstrate that, despite a lack of medical proof, there was a body of opinion that cannabis assisted in the control of epilepsy, in order to support the Defendant’s account that this was the reason he had a large amount of the drug. Conviction unsafe as a result and quashed. Sentence on other counts reduced. Single Judge previously refused leave on both applications.
[2011] EWCA Crim 1675 19/5/2011
Tom Wainwright

R v Altaf Hussain (2008) (no link available)
A 1988 conviction for conspiracy to import heroin from Pakistan was quashed. First conviction obtained by the (now controversial) use by British Customs of Pakistani of informants in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
[2008] EWCA Crim 1518 17/7/2008
Maya Sikand

Quayle & others (2005)
Medicinal use of cannabis and necessity defence
[2005] EWCA Crim 1415 27/5/05. Reported at (2005) 2 Cr App R 34
Rajiv Menon and Adrian Eissa

Brady v HM Customs & Excise (2001) (no link)
Habeus Corpus; alleged drug “swallower” and legality of continued detention by Customs & Excise. Compatibility with Article 5 and Article 3 of ECHR.
[2001] EWHC Admin 422 7/6/01.
Maya Sikand

Useful links

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs
Drugs and the Law (Home Office)
CPS Guidance
Release: Drugs, The Law and Human Rights
National Treatment Agency for the Misuse of Drugs