Stoke & Staffordshire

David Benbow's heroin sentence increased to four years

A Stoke-on-Trent man caught by police with wraps of heroin ready to supply has had his jail sentence increased from 40 weeks to four years by judges.

In June, David Benbow, 48, of Tunstall, was jailed after admitting possession of heroin with intent to supply.

The Court of Appeal agreed with submissions made on behalf of the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC that the original term was "unduly lenient".

In February, Benbow was stopped by police when driving while disqualified.

He was found to have a wrap of heroin in his hand.

A further search of his car and person after his arrest revealed more wraps, including nine concealed between his buttocks.

The amount of the drug found in his possession had a potential street value of between £200 and £400.

'No doubt'

Lord Justice Thomas, sitting in London with Mr Justice Davis and Mr Justice Treacy, ruled that the sentence of 40 weeks was "completely out of line with the authorities".

Quashing the sentence and replacing it with a four-year term of imprisonment, Lord Justice Thomas said there "can be no doubt" that the sentence passed at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court was unduly lenient.

The Solicitor General, Edward Garnier QC, said in a statement after the ruling: "Drug dealers should be warned that the Court of Appeal found that the original sentence of 40 weeks given to David Benbow was unduly lenient.

"Dealing drugs is a very serious offence which causes misery to everyone whose lives are blighted by them, and people who are caught should expect to go to prison for a very long time as in this case, four years."

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