Cyprus Mail

Top court upholds sentence handed to drugs convict

The supreme court

The Supreme Court has upheld an eight-year jail sentence handed down to a defendant found guilty of possessing nearly 1 kilo of cocaine with intent to supply, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The defendant was sentenced on two counts by Larnaca-Famagusta Criminal Court to four years and eight years in jail, to run concurrently, after pleading guilty. He has appealed against the eight-year sentence saying it is excessive.

But the Supreme Court said the defendant’s crime was particularly serious and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Such crimes are on the rise despite the heavy penalties being imposed because ruthless criminals motivated only by financial gain are accomplices to drug trafficking, the Supreme Court added.

But this does not mean that courts should shy from their duty to impose stiff penalties appropriate for the offence.

“The deterrent element of penalties to deal with such crimes was and remains the main element, since it is of primary importance to deal with the serious consequences of drug possession and trafficking on individuals and on society,” it said.

Personal and family circumstances cannot be of paramount importance and looking at each case individually cannot neutralise the deterrence element of the penalty concerning drug offences.

Moreover, in this case, the court said it did not find any special personal or family circumstances.

The sentence was not blatantly excessive as to warrant its intervention, it concluded.

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