Drug dealer al­lowed home for Christ­mas

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

A CON­VICTED drug dealer has had his sen­tence cut so he can spend Christ­mas with his fam­ily fol­low­ing the tragic death of his daugh­ter.

Mar­cus Fife (25), of Kirk­meadow, Bret­ton, Peter­bor­ough, was jailed for 21 months in July this year af­ter he pleaded guilty to a num­ber of drug of­fences, in­clud­ing pos­ses­sion of heroin and crack co­caine with the in­tent to sup­ply.

But just a day af­ter be­ing locked up by Judge Sean En­right at Peter­bor­ough Crown Court, he had tragic news that his 10-month-old daugh­ter Indika had died of a rare heart con­di­tion.

Now Mr Fife - whose wife, Chi­nada, is ex­pect­ing the cou­ple’s fourth child - has had his sen­tence slashed from 21 months to 12 months by a top Lon­don judge, mean­ing he can cel­e­brate Christ­mas with his young fam­ily.

The former painter and dec­o­ra­tor ap­peared at the Crim­i­nal Ap­peal Court in Lon­don on Tues­day, where Mr Jus­tice Owen, Mr Jus­tice Laws and Mr Jus­tice Had­don-cave agreed he de­served a stiff sen­tence for his crimes but should be al­lowed home to “sup­port his fam­ily in their hour of need”.

Mr Jus­tice Owen agreed with Mr Fife’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives that his fam­ily had now been stricken by a “ter­ri­ble tragedy” as he was par­tic­u­larly close to his daugh­ter and de­served mercy at Christ­mas.

Cut­ting the sen­tence he said: “There are ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances where the de­mands of jus­tice can be tem­pered by mercy.

“This is just such a case. This will have the con­se­quence that he can be re­leased im­me­di­ately.”

In July Peter­bor­ough Crown Court heard how Mr Fife had stopped tak­ing drugs and was wor­ried about how his fam­ily would cope while he was in prison.

Je­had Mustafa, who de­fended Mr Fife in the July hear­ing, added: “He has a very young fam­ily, with three chil­dren who he is very in­volved with, tak­ing them to nurs­ery and med­i­cal ap­point­ments.

“He is very wor­ried about how his fam­ily will cope in his ab­sence.

“He was a heavy cannabis user but this is no longer part of his life.”

Mr Mustafa said Mr Fife had only be­come in­volved with drugs af­ter fall­ing in with the wrong crowd.

He also said he was not a drug dealer, but had only been mind­ing the drugs for some­one else when he was caught.

He added that he ad­mit­ted he had fallen into the “wrong peer group” for which he had paid a heavy price.

Fife pleaded guilty to two counts of pos­sess­ing class A drugs with in­tent to sup­ply, one count of pos­sess­ing cannabis, one count of be­ing con­cerned in the sup­ply of cannabis and one count of pro­duc­ing cannabis and was sen­tenced on July 27 this year.

The court heard he was charged af­ter po­lice stopped him in the street with 15 wraps of co­caine worth over £350, 11 wraps of heroin worth £272 as well as a small quan­tity of cannabis.

A search of his house by po­lice also un­cov­ered a cannabis plant in his shed.

Mercy: Mar­cus Fife, who has had a jail sen­tence slashed to spend Christ­mas with his fam­ily.

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