Two men walk free from court after text messages arranging deals show correct spelling
Two men convicted of drug dealing offenses were spared jail and walked free from court after impressing the judge with their spelling and grammar while arranging deals with customers.
British students Brandon Kerrison, 21, and Luke Rance, 19, were arrested in Swansea, Wales, with large quantities of cannabis.
Police later examined their phones to discover they had sent a number of text messages advertising their products and services.
After the evidence was shown to the court during the trial, Judge David Hale of Swansea Crown Court, who has a history of leniency toward child sex offenders, decided he was so impressed by the “spelling and grammar” of the texts, that he cut the pair loose.
Judge Hale said the “grammar and punctuation” in the messages were of a superior standard than normally seen from drug dealers and indicated a higher level of education.
In the UK, cannabis is considered a Class B narcotic, that carries a maximum penalty for supplying the drug, under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), of 14 years in prison plus a fine.
According to the Daily Mail, Swansea Crown Court heard one message from Kerrison’s phone said: “Mad flavours from 10 tonight – let me know for more details.”
The court heard Kerrison was studying at Llansamlet Construction College in Swansea. Rance, who takes part in theatre productions, was due to start a degree having studied at Gower College, also in Swansea.
Judge Hale said he did not want to “fetter the prospects” of either man by sending them to jail.
Instead, Kerrison and Rance were handed community orders with 100 hours of unpaid work.
Had Judge Hale wanted to impose a harsher punishment, sentencing guidelines indicate the pair could have been imprisoned for up to 26 weeks.
Kerrison, of Southgate, Swansea, admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
Rance, also of Southgate, admitted possession of cannabis with intent and possession of cocaine.
Rance is an aspiring actor who has appeared in stage productions of Les Miserables, A Chorus Line, and Grease.
Pictures on his social media page show him singing, dancing, playing guitar and working with drama groups while studying a performing arts course at Gower College in Swansea.
He is due to begin a university degree in September.
Judge Hale told the pair – dressed in dark ties and jackets – that at first ‘cannabis may be an experiment that you find pleasurable’ but its use can have serious consequences.
He said courts all too often see lives that have been “desperately affected” by the use of strong cannabis.
The judge said the delay in bringing the case to court ‘does not do the system much credit’ – and had meant a long period of stress and worry for their families.
However, he said the delay may have worked to the benefit of the pair as it meant they were able to demonstrate they had got their lives back on track and had stayed out of trouble.
He said Rance seemed have got involved with “ne’er-do-wells in Liverpool” by his cannabis-buying activities while Kerrison had set himself up as a dealer for people in the local community.
Judge Hale told them: “I hope a court never sees either of you again.”
How judge impressed by drug dealers’ spelling skills suspended sentences for a woman convicted of sex with a schoolboy and pervert snared by pedophile hunters
Judge Hale previously afforded a woman convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old boy a lenient sentence too.
Jordon Lightfoot, 21, was found guilty of having sexual activity with the schoolboy, and also sexual activity by touching with a boy of 15 and causing or inciting the elder boy to engage in sexual activity in July 2018.
After considering a pre-sentence report Judge Hale imposed an 18-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with 50 days of rehabilitation activity.
After letting her off Judge Hale added: “No teenage lads around for parties or anything like that.”
While a man who sent videos of himself in sexual poses and masturbating to pedophile hunters believing he was speaking to a 13-year-old girl also escaped jail in Judge Hale’s courtroom.
Danny John Byrne, 23, of Wrexham was found guilty on June 1 last year of ten offenses, including three charges of making indecent photographs and five of attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity.
Sentencing Byrne to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, Judge Hale said: “You have no business talking to a 13-year-old girl, someone you thought was a 13-year-old girl.
“You have no business looking at porn – people having sex with animals. You must be quite afraid of going to prison.
“Are you afraid of it? You should be – you would have a very hard time in there.
“I am suspending sentence today but you have it in mind that if you do anything like this again you will go to prison. You must never do anything like this again.”