26th Oct, 2020

Leamington man found with drugs escapes serving suspended prison sentence

A LEAMINGTON man found with cannabis and cocaine has escaped serving a suspended prison sentence.

Harry Pierce appeared at Warwick Crown Court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to possessing the two drugs and being in breach of a suspended sentence imposed at the court.

In such circumstances judges have to impose all or part of the suspended sentence ‘unless it would be unjust to do so’ – and Judge Anthony Potter said he was ‘just convinced’ it would be.

The 25-year-old of Aylesford Street, Leamington, was given a four-month sentence suspended for six months, with his original suspended sentence being ordered to run for a further six months.

The suspended sentence had originally been imposed in March last year for offences of dangerous driving, having no insurance and possessing cannabis.

On the first anniversary of that sentence in March, police officers searched Pierce’s home in relation to another matter – one over which Pierce declared there was no further action.

Prosecutor da Silva said during a search of Pierce’s home, officers found a small bag of cocaine and two small bags of cannabis for personal use.

Pierce admitted the possession of the two drugs, putting him in breach of the suspended sentence and two community orders he was also subject to at the time.

And of the dangerous driving which had led to the suspended sentence, Judge Potter observed: “He was driving round Leamington at very high speeds in residential areas, and lost control of the vehicle.

“His performance on the order, getting convicted again, is pretty unimpressive, which had led me to consider sending him immediately to custody.

“But it does seem he’s complied with the orders in that he has completed all of the requirements. He’s completed the unpaid work on the suspended sentence, and the unpaid work on the community order and his rehabilitation requirement.”

Holly Kilbey, defending, said Pierce’s ‘flurry of offences’ last year stemmed from a severe mental breakdown, but he was now being properly medicated.

Sentencing Pierce, Judge Potter told him: “You have led, in my judgement, a charmed life.

“I’m quite confident that had Her Honour Judge Buckingham known in March last year you were on bail for two other offences when you treated Leamington Spa like your own private racetrack, she would have sent you to custody. I certainly would.

“My first instinct when you committed an offence on the first anniversary of that was to send you to prison.

“But you have carried out the unpaid work and completed the rehabilitation activity. I am just convinced it would be unjust, for relatively minor matters, to send you immediately to prison.

“But I reserve any breaches to myself, and if you get into trouble again, you will go to custody.”

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