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Drugs: Sentencing

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the Answer of 1 April 2008, Official Report, columns 890-2W, on drugs, how many of those sentenced to immediate custody for dealing in (a) Class A, (b) Class B and (c) Class C drugs received the maximum possible prison sentence in each of the last five years. (200625)

The requested information is contained in the following table:

Number of persons given the maximum custodial sentence1 for supplying various classes of controlled drugs, all courts, England and Wales, 2002-06

Number of persons

Controlled drug class

Number sentenced immediate custody

Maximum custodial sentence2

2002

Class A

4,064

Class B3

174

Class C3

21

2

2003

Class A

4,415

Class B3

201

Class C3

19

2004

Class A

4,551

1

Class B3

723

Class C3

186

2005

Class A

4,203

1

Class B3

331

Class C3

579

2006

Class A

4,056

Class B3

232

Class C3

673

1 Principal offence basis.

2 The maximum custodial sentence for the offences of supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug and for having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply are life for Class A, 14 years for Class B and Class C. In 2003 the maximum penalty for supplying and possessing with intent to supply Class C. drugs was increased from five to 14 years imprisonment.

3 In January 2004 Cannabis was reclassified from a Class B to a Class C drug.

Notes:

1. All figures are for the offences of supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug and for having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply.

2. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Source:

Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice