No prison term for drugs courier

Herald Series: Joshua Lucien Joshua Lucien

A JUDGE has given a man who admitted bringing heroin from London to sell in Oxford an “unusually lenient” sentence.

Joshua Lucien, from London, has avoided jail after he pleaded guilty to possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply on Wednesday, October 9, last year.

The 20-year-old was arrested near Donnington Bridge Road, in South Oxford, by police officers after he was spotted acting suspiciously.

Judge Ian Pringle said he was seen throwing a golf-ball sized object away as police approached, which was then recovered.

He added that the package was found to contain 52 wraps of heroin, weighing 4.26g.

But Judge Pringle said the Crown Prosecution Service had accepted his guilty plea on the basis that he was just a “courier” for the drugs.

He also heard mitigation that Lucien had few previous convictions, none of which were similar to this offence, and was working in a full-time apprenticeship.

Judge Pringle said in his view the explanation he had given of why he was carrying the drugs was a “credible” one.

He told Lucien: “Have no illusions that the normal punishment for this is to go straight inside.

“However, you have pleaded on a basis that you had the drugs for another and you were acting as a courier.

“In the circumstances I am going to take an unusually lenient course and I’m not going to pass an immediate prison sentence.”

He sentenced him to 16 months, suspended for two years, with a drug rehabilitation requirement, a thinking skills programme and a £100 victims’ surcharge.

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