Murton heroin addict has jail term cut on appeal

Crown Court
Crown Court
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A HEROIN addict, who was jailed for his part in a drug deal, has had his prison sentence slashed.

Anthony Lee Burdess was given four years at Newcastle Crown Court in June, after admitting a string of offences.

The 43-year-old, of Wetherburn Avenue, Murton, was caught after acting as the driver for another dealer and dropping off his illicit cargo.

When police searched his home, they found 44 wraps of heroin, which Burdess admitted he would share with his partner, and a Class C drug.

The court heard that Burdess had a previous drugs conviction and despite being an addict at the time, was functioning and had been able to hold down a factory job.

He pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin, possession of a Class C drug and possession of heroin with intent to supply.

This week, Burdess’s barrister Robert Spragg argued at the Court of Appeal in London that his sentence was too tough.

He told the appeal court that the crown court judge had not given Burdess enough credit for pleading guilty.

Giving the judgement, Mr Justice Wilkie, sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Andrews, agreed and cut it to three years.

The crown court judge had “pitched the starting point too high” before giving credit for Burdess’s guilty pleas, and had then failed to grant him the correct reduction for making those pleas.