First thing is first, there is no question that the so-called “War on Drugs” has been an abject failure. There’s also no justification for locking someone in a cage for making choices we don’t agree with, as long as they do not directly infringe upon the rights of others.
But why would a judge who locks people up for plants at a near-daily rate, suddenly decide that prison is too severe of a sentence for a convicted cocaine dealer?
That’s what happened when Simon Beveridge managed to keep his freedom.
A judge let the convicted cocaine dealer avoid any time behind bars, because locking him up would expose him to “streetwise” criminals.
Beveridge gave what some called a “breathtakingly frank” testimony. According to the Gazette, the judge openly wondered whether it was “in the public interest” to put him in prison.
The judge described the privileged defendant as “naive” and said he would only attract attention from criminals who were “vastly convicted and streetwise to the nth degree.”
Too bad other’s haven’t been as lucky.
“I ask myself, do the people of Teesside benefit by exposing him to that?” Recorder David Myerson QC, said in the British court. “I have answered that question firmly in the negative.”
They judge called the defendant directly, saying “I want him to come and talk to me. I want to hear it from him.”
The judge understandingly asked, “Why did you agree to supply cocaine?”
Beveridge said, “I had no choice. I got in a bit of debt. They were asking for the money back.
“I never had it. I missed a few payments. They give me a phone and white powder and said ‘that’ll clear your debt off’.”
When police came to the defendant’s Thornaby house, Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said he was on edge and physically shaking. He admitted possession of the cocaine with intent to supply as well as possessing marijuana.
Andrew White, his defense attorney said: “He’s extremely remorseful and through me he expresses his apologies and regret for this.
“He’s a long-term user of cannabis. He’s got himself well out of his depth here.
“He’s clearly never been to custody before. He’s a vulnerable young man. I can tell you he’s absolutely terrified at the thought of going to custody.”
“In the normal course there is no doubt that people who sell Class A drugs go to prison,” Recorder Myerson added, saying “Drugs are a scourge. They are corrupting, they are addictive and people who prey on the weaknesses of others should expect immediate custodial sentences.”
The judge added: “Of course his debt problems are entirely his own fault, nonetheless it seems to me there was a degree of pressure there. I’m satisfied he told me the truth. That was, in my judgment, breathtakingly frank.”
Beveridge was then given a two-year jail term which the judge immediately suspended for two years. It’s too bad others have not been treated with this leniency. Why do you think the judge allowed him to walk?
(Article by Jackson Marciana and Reagan Ali; h/t to the Mirror)