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Man who hid drugs in car wheel has jail term cut

BBC News logo BBC News 10/27/2021
a store front at day: Dewi Mitchell was initially sentenced to 40 months in prison in July © BBC Dewi Mitchell was initially sentenced to 40 months in prison in July

A holidaymaker jailed for travelling to the Isle of Man by ferry with drugs stashed under the spare wheel of his car has had his sentence slashed by an appeal court.

Dewi Mitchell, of Ebbw Vale in Wales, was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison in July for importing £160 of cocaine and £276 of cannabis.

An appeal found the jail term was "excessive", and cut it to six months.

A ban on the 22-year-old visiting the island for five years was upheld.

Mitchell was arrested at the sea terminal in Douglas in June after arriving by ferry shortly after the island's border restrictions were eased.

He told police he brought the cocaine and the cannabis with him for a short holiday as he was concerned about the quality and price of the drugs on the island.

In the original ruling, Deemster Graeme Cooke said, although he accepted the drugs were for personal use, Mitchell knew what he was doing was illegal and sentenced him to 40 months in prison.

When reviewing the appeal in September, Deemsters Alastair Montgomerie and Alan Gough found the case involved a "very small quantity of drugs", which were for personal use.

They said this "powerful" mitigation factor warranted a "very significant" reduction in the original sentence, which had been "manifestly excessive".

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