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Ecstasy student: Community service sentence stands

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A FORMER Victoria College student will not have to face an appeal against his community service sentence for importing more than 300 ecstasy pills.

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Last month Joel Lewis narrowly avoided a custodial sentence after ordering 304 ecstasy pills, with an estimated street value of more than £12,000, from the so-called dark web to be sent to the Mayfair Hotel, where he planned to collect them and sell them on.

The Attorney General, Robert MacRae, has opted not to challenge the Royal Court sentence. During police interview, Lewis – who was arrested at school – also admitted carrying out a similar scheme using a hotel in St Malo.

The 18-year-old was sentenced to 384 hours of community service by the Royal Court, although Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq told Lewis that Jurats had not been unanimous in agreeing a non-custodial sentence. The Crown had asked for a sentence of 2½ years’ youth detention.

Attorney General Robert MacRae considered appealing against the Royal Court decision on the grounds of undue leniency but has decided not to ask the Court of Appeal to review the sentence.

A spokesman for the Law Officers’ Department said: ‘The Attorney General has considered with care whether or not to refer this case to the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the sentence imposed by the Royal Court was unduly lenient.

‘It is only appropriate for the Attorney General to refer a sentence imposed by the Royal Court to the Court of Appeal when the sentence imposed falls short by a very substantial margin of the appropriate sentence in all the circumstances.

‘In reviewing the matter the Attorney General sought the advice of an English QC and having regard to the particular facts of this case and circumstances of this young offender, who was 17 at the time of the commission of the offence, the Attorney General has decided not to invite the Court of Appeal to review the sentence.’

Before his arrest Lewis had been planning a career in the Army and had been offered a bursary by military academy Sandhurst.

During the sentencing hearing, the court heard that a community service order – rather than youth detention – would allow Lewis to continue to pursue a career in the Army.

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