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Drug import couple see jail term cut

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A FORMER detective and his wife had their eight-year sentence for drug importation and money laundering reduced by a year by the Guernsey Court of Appeal yesterday.

A FORMER detective and his wife had their eight-year sentence for drug importation and money laundering reduced by a year by the Guernsey Court of Appeal yesterday.

Both Michael and Mandy Falla pleaded guilty in the Royal Court in November to transferring £62,150 to the bank account of a drug supplier and importing 1.588kg of synthetic cannabinoids with a local street value of between £23,835 and £31,780.

However, advocates Andrew Ayres and Clare Tee, respectively representing the couple, argued that Judge Dame Heather Steel had not given appropriate consideration to the mitigating circumstances of the case at the time.

The couple were given eight years for the money laundering offence, but four years to run concurrently for the importation offence.

Judge of appeal Nigel Pleming QC, who was joined by Jonathan Crowe QC, and Bailiff of Jersey Michael Birt QC, said they were satisfied that the 10-year starting point was justified and did not accept there should be a further reduction for Michael Falla's age or the family's 'fall from grace'.

However he added that the judges were not convinced credit had been given for the defendants' previous good character and therefore reduced the sentence.

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