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HMA v Anthony Kelly


Jun 6, 2024

At the High Court in Aberdeen today, Judge Andrew Miller sentenced Anthony Kelly to 7 years 6 months in prison and a subsequent 30 month Serious Crime Prevention Order. Kelly pled guilty to being involved in serious organised crime and the supply of controlled drugs.

On sentencing, Judge Miller told Kelly:

“Anthony Kelly, you pled guilty at your trial diet to a charge of being involved in serious organised crime, between 14 May 2018 and 1 June 2020. The description of your involvement which was provided by the crown when your plea was tendered made it clear that, during the period covered by the charge: you were involved at a significant level in the supply of large quantities of the controlled drugs ecstasy, cannabis and, in particular, cocaine; you were in communication with other individuals who were themselves involved in criminal activities; you had knowledge of their activities; and that, following a disturbing attack by associates of yours on the home of a family in a residential street in Wishaw, you provided advice to those associates which was intended to help them to avoid detection for their part in that attack.

The court was told that, during the period covered by this charge, the total amount of cocaine purchased by you or on your behalf was approximately 11.5kg, which was paid for in cash totalling over £400,000, and that the total amount of cannabis purchased by you or on your behalf was 7kg, purchased for a total of £14,700. The court was also told that, during the period covered by the charge, you sent an associate a ‘bill’ for £187,000. Although you were involved in other activities connected to serious organised crime beyond the supply of controlled drugs, these very large quantities of controlled drugs, and large sums of money, indicate the scope and level of your involvement in serious organised crime during the period covered by this charge.

This is a very serious offence, particularly bearing in mind the damage which the supply of class A controlled drugs, and other criminal activities which are associated with the supply of controlled drugs, causes to individuals, families and communities.

You have a number of previous convictions, all at summary level, none of which are for offences relating to the supply of controlled drugs or involvement in serious organised crime.

I have had considered the terms of the criminal justice social work report which has been prepared for today’s hearing, including the information it provides about your personal circumstances and the financial motivation underlying your involvement in the supply of controlled drugs.

I have considered everything which your senior counsel has said in mitigation on your behalf at today’s hearing. In particular, I have considered what has been said about your level of seniority in relation to the criminal activities in which you were involved. Having regard, in particular, to the quantities of controlled drugs which were purchased by you or on your behalf, and the sums of money linked to your activities, my judgment is that the role you held could fairly be described as significant. 

Although you pled guilty at your trial hearing, your senior counsel advised the crown several months in advance of the trial that you wished to resolve the case by means of a guilty plea, and the subsequent delay in achieving a final resolution to the case was the result of factors internal to the crown, rather than relating to you or your legal advisors.

Having regard to the nature of your involvement in this offence and also to the fact that you have no previous convictions for any offence relating to the supply of controlled drugs or involvement in serious organised crime, I would have sentenced you to nine years’ imprisonment but for your plea of guilty. Having regard to your guilty plea, and to the circumstances which affected the timing of that plea, I will modify that sentence by approximately 15 percent, to one of seven years and six months’ imprisonment, with effect from 8 May 2024 when you were remanded in custody following your guilty plea.

The crown have made an application for a Serious Crime Prevention Order in relation to you, under S. 22A of the Serious Crime Act 2007.  Having regard to the nature and circumstances of your involvement in the crime to which you have pled guilty, I am satisfied that such an order would protect the public by preventing, restricting or disrupting your involvement in serious crime when you are eventually released from prison, and that it is appropriate to make such an order in relation to you. The order will last for a period of 30 months, and will begin on the date of your release from prison, including release under a home detention curfew or on parole.

The duration and terms of the order reflect discussions which have taken place between the crown and your legal representatives. You will be provided with a copy of the order. The order imposes a number of restrictions and requirements on you, including:

  • A requirement to notify the police of your home address and of any other residential or business premises which are owned, leased, occupied or controlled by you, or to which you possess keys;
  • A requirement to report to a police station up to five times per year, and be photographed when you report, in order to verify your identity;
  • Restrictions on the number of communication devices which you are able to own, possess or use, limitations on the technical capabilities of such devices and the use you can make of them, a requirement to allow the police to examine any communication device which you own, possess or use and to provide the police with any PIN numbers or passwords which are required so that such a device can be examined, and a requirement to notify the police of any new communication device which you own, possess or use;
  • A prohibition on associating or communicating with a number of people who are identified in the order;
  • A requirement to notify the police of the details of any motor vehicles which you own, possess, use or control;
  • A limit on the amount of cash which you are able to possess; and
  • A requirement to notify the police of all of your financial assets, investments and sources of income.  

Failure to comply with the terms of a Serious Crime Prevention Order, without reasonable excuse, is a criminal offence."

6 June 2024