Drug man loses appeal

PUBLISHED: 16:06 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:52 10 June 2010

A man who was jailed for three years for laundering £500 of drugs money has failed in a challenge to his tough sentence at the Court of Appeal in London. Derek Midgley, 33, of Mooremead, Budleigh Salterton, was convicted of two counts of transferring cri

A man who was jailed for three years for laundering £500 of drugs money has failed in a challenge to his tough sentence at the Court of Appeal in London. Derek Midgley, 33, of Mooremead, Budleigh Salterton, was convicted of two counts of transferring criminal property before he was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court in August of last year. He appealed against the length of his total term, but now his case has been rejected by Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Calvert Smith. His lawyers argued that Midgley was sentenced, not as the money launderer that he was found guilty of being, but as a drug dealer. That resulted in him receiving a sentence that was too long for the crimes he was actually in court to be sentenced for, the judges were told. But, dismissing his appeal, Mr Justice Calvert Smith said the Crown Court judge who imposed the sentence was entitled to conclude that the money was drugs cash. An accomplice of Midgley had been convicted of drugs offences and numerous references were found on the man's personal organiser to Midgley and drugs. Midgley had also previously been jailed for drugs offences and, as recently as 2006, been convicted of cultivating cannabis. The prosecution had always alleged that the cash which Midgley had laundered was criminally obtained and linked with drugs, and the jury, in convicting him, had accepted that case, the appeal judge said. "The sentencing judge, in our judgment, was quite entitled to come to his conclusion that the convictions had, lying behind them, a career in drug dealing," he added. "It is wholly unrealistic, in our judgment, to suggest that the judge should effectively ignore the evidence, which the court had heard and had gone effectively unchallenged before the jury, when turning to sentence. The whole case was about drug dealing. "In our judgment, the judge could do nothing else than incorporate in this sentence what the jury must have found, and he was certainly entitled to find, namely that this appellant and his co-accused were long-standing drug-dealers.

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