Regina v Lunnon: CACD 2004

The defendant admitted conspiring to supply cannabis on the basis that he had derived no financial benefit from his involvement in the conspiracy, although he had been promised andpound;200 for his role in transporting a sum of money for the purchase of the drugs. He had also driven a van in which the drugs were concealed without any discussion regarding additional payment. It was also conceded by the Crown that it accepted that he had had no prior involvement in drug trafficking. He was ordered to pay andpound;12,371 under a confiscation order on the basis that a Golf car he was assumed to own was a benefit which he had derived from drug trafficking. The judge had applied s4(3) saying that there was nothing to displace the assumptions in the light of the defendant’s lies and a paucity of documentation in respect of his business.
Held: The confiscation order was quashed. ‘It is thus apparent that the learned judge put to one side in this context the agreed basis of plea and, in particular, the acknowledgment of the Crown that the appellant had no previous involvement in drug trafficking.’ The court considered a suggestion that an order could be made for previous drug trafficking: ‘No doubt one could envisage circumstances where the Crown has discovered prior to the conclusion of a confiscation hearing that such a concession has been wrongly made. Further information may have come to light which demonstrates this to have been the case. In such circumstances, the appropriate course would be for the Crown to notify the defendant that the concession has been withdrawn and that, accordingly, he will have the choice of proving on the balance of probabilities that he was, after all, a first-time offender, or of inviting the court to be satisfied that there would be a serious risk of injustice, for some other reason, if the statutory assumption were to be applied. What is plainly unacceptable is for the concession to be made part of the sentencing process, without qualification, but for reliance to be placed, tacitly, on the assumptions when it comes to the confiscation hearing.’


Eady J


[2004] 1 Cr App R(S) 24, [2004] EWCA Crim 1125


Drug Trafficking Act 1994 4(3)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Lazarus CACD 2004
The defendant had admitted supplying cocaine and possession. In searches of his home, police found drugs and andpound;13,880 cash on one occasion and andpound;600 on another. His basis of plea, however, was that he had allowed his home to be used . .
CitedBakewell, Regina v CACD 11-Jan-2006
The defendant faced allegations of evading duty on the importing of substantial quantities of cigarettes. A confiscation order was made. HMRC appealed saying it was too small a sum.
Held: ‘the liability of a smuggler who evades duty which he . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 14 May 2022; Ref: scu.237579