Drugs sting man wins cut in jail term

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A SHEFFIELD man who was jailed after undercover police ‘encouraged’ him to get them drugs – but then ignored their calls and pulled out of the deal – has had his sentence cut by appeal judges.

A senior judge said Nathan Luke Allen, aged 21, was unlikely ever to have offered to get drugs if the cops had not suggested he find them some heroin and cocaine in exchange for designer clothing.

And Allen, who was not a drug dealer, almost immediately got cold feet about the transaction, ignored calls on his mobile phone, and did not even handle any narcotics.

In May, he was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court for two offences of agreeing to supply Class A drugs.

Now that sentence has been cut to six months at the Court of Appeal.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Bean, said the officers had ‘enticed’ Allen, of Fitzhubert Road, Manor, with heavily discounted designer clothing.

And it was the officers, not Allen, who had suggested he find them drugs to pay for the goods, the judge said.

Allen, who had once been a cocaine addict but turned his life around after treatment, was not involved in drug dealing in any other way at all, he said.

“In terms of being involved in the supply of Class A drugs, this offence was towards the bottom of the scale,” he said.

“The offence was, at least, encouraged by the undercover officers.

“We consider that the appellant, having been tempted by the officers’ offer, deserves considerable credit for relenting overnight.”

The 18-month term was cut to six months, which means Allen will be freed within the next fortnight, having served half his sentence behind bars.

He is the third person to have successfully appealed his sentence.

A total of 27 people have so far been convicted as part of Operation Mach – a police operation set up to rid the streets of Sheffield of drug dealers and reduce drug-related violence.