Court of Appeal confirms correct approach to sentencing offer to supply offences and features of totality

The Court of Appeal recently handed down judgment in Regina v Mustafa Omar [2020] EWCA Crim 684, an appeal against a sentence of 7 years for six offences of supplying Class A drugs, and one offence of offering to supply 1kg of Class A drugs, where £30,000 cash had been recovered.

Rabah Kherbane acted for the Appellant, and successfully argued that the overall sentence was manifestly excessive and should be significantly reduced.

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal agreed that ‘offer to supply’ offences should attract a substantial reduction on the guidelines to recognise that there was no actual supply. Moreover, proper regard to totality means: (i) taking into consideration the ‘personal features’ and mitigation of the offender; and (ii) when sentencing offences committed in a test purchase operation, taking into account that offending was a continuing part of dealings with the same undercover officer, rather than ‘wholly independent transactions’ (see paragraphs 9- 11, and 13- 16 of the judgment).

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal paid tribute to the excellence of the submissions made by Rabah.