Pensioner’s four month jail term was ‘reasonable’

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A Sheffield pensioner locked up for his role in a massive tobacco smuggling ring has failed to persuade top judges at London’s Court of Appeal his sentence was too harsh.

Malcolm Sargent, aged 68, was jailed for four months at Reading Crown Court in November after pleading guilty to cheating the Revenue.

Sargent, of Charnock View Road, Gleadless, was part of a far flung network involved in evading customs duty on consignments of contraband cigarettes and rolling tobacco.

The conspiracy spanned August 2010 to June 2011, but Sargent’s involvement was limited to a single episode in May 2011 when a farm he rented near Sheffield was raided by customs officers who found 175 kilos of tobacco, 86,000 cigarettes, and cash.