Friday 01 November 2013
On Wednesday 30 October, Edward Vernon Rees, a 57 year old man, who up until his arrest was claiming sickness benefit in the UK, appeared before the Guernsey Royal Court and was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment.
This sentencing followed a not guilty trial in the Royal Court held between Monday 16th and Wednesday 18th September 2013. Upon conclusion of the trial the Court delivered a unanimous guilty verdict for the offence of importing 6.02kg of the Class B controlled drug Cannabis Resin. The controlled drugs seized had a potential resale value between £120,400 and £150,500.
On Monday 14 January 2013, Rees was stopped in his vehicle by Customs Officers upon arrival from Poole. Whilst questioning Rees, Customs Officers noticed that he appeared particularly nervous. Officers determined that a search of the vehicle was warranted utilising the drug detector dog team. During the search the detector dog gave a positive indication on the rear doors of the vehicle. Officers removed the rear door panels and discovered 24 nine ounce bars of Cannabis Resin concealed within the rear offside door frame.
Rees was arrested and interviewed, where he maintained a 'no comment' stance to all questions put to him. He was subsequently charged with the offence and remanded in custody. Rees pleaded not guilty to the offence and maintained his innocence throughout the trial, but was found guilty by a unanimous verdict.
In his summing up for the sentencing hearing, Judge Finch said that this was a significant attempt to import high street value drugs into the Bailiwick and that the story Rees gave was nonsensical. He added that UK criminals like Rees are not welcome in the Island.
Rees' sentence is to run from the date of his arrest.
Law Enforcement are always grateful for any assistance given by members of the public in identifying people involved with smuggling or supplying controlled drugs in the Bailiwick; information can be given by contacting the Confidential Drugline on 0800 318 318.