John Wyn Williams successfully resists a Reference by the Attorney General

April 17, 2019

John Wyn Williams from Exchange Chambers has today appeared before the Vice President of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division Lady Justice Hallett responding to a reference made by the Attorney General’s office in relation to a sentence imposed on his client by HHJ Kershaw at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

His client received a suspended sentence at the sentencing hearing in February this year. She was sentenced for her part in Operation Poppett which involved a Conspiracy to Supply Cocaine on an Industrial scale. Benzocaine was imported from China in industrial quantities.

John’s client was the partner to one of the Co-conspirators and had pleaded guilty to Possession with intent to supply class A drugs. Although the sentencing judge found that she had played a significant role in the enterprise, he was able to suspend her sentence partly because she was the sole carer of a two year old child.

The case of R v Petherick [2012] EWCA Crim 2214 was discussed at length and mention was made of the empirical research carried out by Dr Shona Minson into the results of maternal imprisonment. Dr Minson has prepared a short film on how to approach issues raised by R v Petherick and gives useful guidance to Practitioners faced with these issues. It is widely available on the internet. The Court granted the AG leave but did not interfere with the original sentence.

John was instructed by Bridgette Hibbert of Farleys in Preston.