Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lincs drugs dealer sentenced to 10 years prison...

In a week where the effects of hard drugs have been plain to see in the national headlines, I was pleased to see a Lincolnshire dealer sentenced to ten years prison today.

Most of the five young women tragically murdered in the Ipswich area were on the streets to fund their drug habits.

What I found most disturbing was their determination to sell their bodies to get money for their next fix, knowing there was a killer in their locality who was targetting prostitutes.

Even after three bodies of their friends had been discovered brutally murdered, dire police warnings of a maniac on the loose failed to deter the girls from plying the oldest profession.

One girl even gave a now infamous television interview to say she was aware of the risks, frightened by the murders, but was desperate for money so would continue to go on the streets

That girl, someone's daughter, is now dead.

Patrice Roberts probably never supplied her - or anyone else in Ipswich - with cocaine.

But he did supply people nearer to home - in Lincolnshire.The Lincolnshire Echo reports today that the 38-year-old Lincoln drug dealer has been jailed for 10 years after police found cocaine, cannabis and guns at his house.

Roberts and his 20-year-old girlfriend were convicted of possession of cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply.

I wonder how many lives their dirty dealing have wrecked - apart from their own.

10 comments:

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

Share your views on the sentence Phil.

The lies he told the court were unreal!

Liz said...

Thank you Phil for using the words "five young women" have been killed. I have been cringing each time I read "prostitutes" and "girls" by some journalists. I know that the police commonly use "working girls" so I can forgive this as their interviews have been highly professional and not judgemental towards the women's activities. They are women, they have families and are the victims. It is irrelevant what they do for a living other than in terms of being an easy target for some one who wants to kill. It is a sad day when those who need drugs are willing to put their life in danger to get money for them. I wish there were a legal way around this issue in the Ipswich area until the perpetrator is apprehended.

The sentence today seems appropriate given this man's criminal record and, importantly his previous conviction for supplying Class A Drugs. I sincerely hope that any money or goods that he has obtained through his activities will be confiscated. The report did not indicate if a confiscation order was made? As well as the sentence, I want every penny obtained from his despicable crime removed from him. I hope too that his partner eventually receives a sentence of imprisonment commensurate with her involvement despite her young age and sex.

fairdealphil said...

geoffrey:

ten years is a long sentence, and i hope it acts as a deterrent to others.

is it long enough, given that if he behaves he can expect to be out in five...?

well, i wasn't in court, didn't hear all the detail, so difficult to say much more.

however, i notice that he appears to have a long record of crime.

i'm sure that all decent people want to see those who deal in hard drugs taken off the street and locked away for as long as possible.

their activities threaten the fabric of our local communities and needs to be stopped.

i heard recently that if you know where to go, you can now buy your first line of coke for a fiver - that less than the cost of two pints in some pubs!

Public spending to help people get off drugs has increased significantly over the past ten years - but we clearly need to do much more if we are to win the war on drugs.

fairdealphil said...

liz:

the fact that young women sell themselves to get their next fix suggests to me that the drugs addiction is the underlying problem, and that the prostitution is more an effect of the drugs culture.

it also tells me how fortunate i've been as a parent. how terrible for the parents of some of these dead young girls to learn what their daughters were doing to maintain their drug habit...

Michael Oakeshott said...

Liz - I am afraid their being prostitutes is not irrelevant to them being killed. Five of them seem to have been killed, and it seem pretty obvious that the killer is targetting them for the very reason that they ARE prostitutes. If that offends you, then you are easily offended. If it offends prostitutes, then they should stop doing. At no point do I see the problem with calling a spade a spade.

The sentences? So what, ten years, it is nothing. With good behaviour(ha!) they will be out to do the same thing in three years. I would be impressed if the Government got tough on crime. Some chance(!).

Liz said...

I agree that the nature of their living may - just may be a motive -the killer may be on a moral crusade. Alternately he may just hate women and targets these women because they are easy prey. I am not saying that how these women earn their living should not be reported. However, some of the headlines in the Red Tops were offensive. Whatever they do - they are victims of this murderer(s), they are women, mothers, daughters, partners as well.

Just to outline the ten year sentence. A prisoner becomes eligible for parole at the half way point which in this case is 5 years not 3 as you believe. The Parole Board rejected 49.4% of applications in 2005/6 so there is no guarantee of release at this point. When released the offender is subject to licence supervision which controls were he lives, with whom, his employment,drug/alcohol use, travel etc. If one does not comply with this one is returned to prison. This is for your average offender. More stringent conditions apply to sex offenders and life sentence prisoners. I should add that the eligibility date for parole, release etc have all been toughened up since 1997. At that time a prisoner could be considered for parole after serving a third of the sentence and not as now at the half way point. Many other sentences have been introduced to deal with those offenders that pose a public risk. I therefore do not accept that this government has not been tough on crime. I could write you chapter and verse what measures they have introduced which has strengthened and toughened up the system.

In addition, more prisons have been built, more police employed etc. I keep myself abreast of criminal legislation and take part in Home Office consultations. I would not hesitate to agree with you if I thought your assertions were accurate.

Michael Oakeshott said...

So 50.6% of applications are allowed. Very reassuring(!). And if you have kept abreast of affairs so well Liz, maybe you will be able to tell us what the percentage chance of these sort of offenders(rapists and murderers) re-offend when released. And then tell us why even one innocent person should suffer because these people are released.

Prisons have been built? So what? Not enough. Not enough spaces, not enough prisoners. It is a disgrace that a country as lawless as this should have a prison population of 80k. 250k would be much better, including a fair proportion of permanent residents.

The solution of course is very simple. Don't release them full stop. Re-offending rate equals 0%. But then this Government will harp on about criminal's rights.

fairdealphil said...

Micahel:

No, it doesn't mean over half of applications to parole boards are allowed.

I don't have the figures to hand, but I believe of the current Home Secretary rejects a significantly high proportion of recommendations for release by Parole Board - and certainly more than many, if not all, of his predessessors whether Labour or Tory.

Anonymous said...

tewst

Jim Worley said...

I have known Patrice “Peppy” Roberts since 1979. “Peppy” was a good friend and lived in the West End of Lincoln with his family who originated from Jamaica. As a young man, Peppy was a kind and happy, smiling sort of kid who would do anything for anyone. He was an accomplished drummer by the age of 15 or so, who never failed to amaze anyone listening to him playing his kit with his ability.

His parents were very authoritarian and although he sometimes fought with his brothers he never had a violent disposition. He was certainly not into drugs as a teenager and actively followed his musical interests in local bands and further afield as a DJ,

In 1987, the New Years celebrations in Lincoln descended into crowd violence and a small scale riot developed which was dealt with quite harshly by the local police. Peppy had been in town at the time and was caught up in the middle of things, giving way to the general atmosphere of things he picked up a Coke can and threw it into the crowd. A police officer saw him do this, and he was arrested. Prior to that, he had no criminal record.

There was a lot of talk about the seriousness of the incident – after all Lincoln was at the time a sleepy city where nothing much out of the ordinary happened. Peppy was charged with offences concerning rioting, much more serious than simple affray and the case was heard by the Crown Court which handed down a ludicrously severe sentence of 3 years. Clearly, the establishment had set out to make an example of the few people that had been “nominated” as taking part in the incident.

Peppy was in prison for 18 months and emerged a changed man. His usual sunny disposition was replaced by a brooding dark sort of mood and this is where I believe his “life of crime” began. His 18 months in what I call the “Crime Academy” had put him in direct contact with some seriously bad people and he was without doubt introduced to the drug world during his stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Could he have been dealt with more leniently? I believe so.

I believe that this harsh treatment ruined Peppy’s chances of making a good citizen. A fair and humane system doesn’t lock up first offenders for nearly tow years with hardened criminals does it? The chip on his shoulder that grew into outsize proportions and created within him a complete disregard and contempt for the establishment proved to be his downfall, but consider this:

The crime of drug dealing for which he has now been handed down a 10 year sentence by the establishment never took into account the part that the establishment had to play in creating the fertile ground upon which these seeds of crime had been sowed. You can all talk about stripping him of his assets and how he should be dealt with more harshly but if it had been you throwing that Coke can, how would YOU have wanted to be dealt with?

And how many more young men’s lives have been wrecked in this way? Far too many I suspect. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime. Rings a bit hollow to me. See you in 10 years Peppy.