Drug dealer allowed home for Christmas
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.