Judge rejects crook's bid to have his jail sentence cut

Court of Appeal
Court of Appeal

A crook who claimed his jail term should be slashed as he only turned to crime to help pay off a hefty debt to his dealer has lost his appeal.

James Christopher Office, 29, of Cooperative Terrace, Concord, was caged for four years and two months at Newcastle Crown Court on August 24 last year.

He admitted three counts of possession of drugs with intent to supply. The narcotics involved were cocaine, M-Cat and diazepam.

Office was spotted by a police officer 'acting suspiciously' at Newcastle Central Railway Station on December 5 2014, Judge Peter Collier QC told London's Appeal Court.

A haul of drugs and £1,200 in cash were found on him and more diazepam tablets were discovered at his home.

The total value of the drugs was £1,000. Office said it was 'one-off enterprise' he hoped would pay off part of a £5,000 debt to a dealer.

His lawyers argued his overall jail term - which included two months for breaching a suspended sentence - was far too tough.

The judge who jailed him had taken 'insufficient account' of Office's debt, his 'naivety' and progess he had made in tackling his drug problem.

Judge Collier said Office, who had been convicted for a 'similar' crime in 2006, had played a 'significant role' in the latest offence.

He said that his reliance on crime to reduce his drug debt was 'not a particularly significant matter'.

"We find nothing wrong with the overall sentence and this appeal is dismissed," said the judge, who was sitting with Lady Justice Sharp and Mrs Justice McGowan.