Victoria College Students Dark Web Drug Sentence Could be challenged
Attorney General Robert MacRae is preparing appealing documents against the sentence imposed on a former Victoria College student. This case drew the attention of the Attorney General after a public outcry. Joel Lewis was sentenced by a Royal Court to 384 hours of community service instead of detention after being convicted of importing dark web drugs. The Crown had advised the Royal Court to impose a minimum of two years and six months custodial sentence.
Following Lewis’ sentencing, Victoria College wrote a letter of apology to the entire student body and families. Written also were measures the college was taking to help students make better decisions and to safeguard themselves in and out of the college experience.
Joel Lewis was at school when he was arrested. But the trail started earlier when investigators found that he made an order of more than 300 ecstasy pills on the darknet. The package was estimated to be £12,725 and to be delivered using a Mayfair Hotel address.
In police custody Lewis admitted to having organized one other purchase. This additional importation charge he admitted to was to be a package sent to the St. Malo Hotel. According to the court documents, Lewis was fulfilling education requirements by the British Army. He was given a scholarship to learn while training at the Royal Military College Sandhurst.
Sarah Dale, the defense attorney for Lewis, stressed the age of the defendant and that a prison sentence would not help promote rehabilitation quickly. She argued that he had a lot more time needed to finish school and the military service.
The verdict was a unanimous vote for community service hours.
The Attorney General Robert MacRae was preparing appealing documents against the sentence imposed.
Victoria College Reassures Safety
Following Lewis’ case, Victoria College made a public announcement that drug dealing did not and still does not take place on campus and there is no evidence to suggest that there is any drug abuse in the school. The college assured everyone that within the campus the school has total control.
In July 2015, Morgan Huelin, a 16-year-old Victoria College student was found dead after taking a mixture of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances. Five teenage students who were arrested in connection to the death of Morgan were prosecuted in 2016 for perverting the course of justice.
The court files indicated that the five teenagers had moved the unconscious body from the garage of a home where he died to a nearby road. During the sentencing, one of the boys lamented and accused Victoria College of having a drug culture that had never been properly addressed by the school’s administration.
The principal of Victoria College Alun Watkins, has however, sent emails to parents assuring them that the school was in control of the situation and had put measures in place to keep students from substance abuse.
The email reads: I am very much concerned and want to take this chance to reassure all of you that we are making the best decisions to ensure the safety of our boys. Our first defense mechanism against substance trafficking and abuse is to educate our students to ensure they are in a position to make the right decision and have the confidence to say no to drugs.
The school’s Anti-drug Education Programme which has now been integrated into our new curriculum is looking into working with the police, Charities Prison and Silkworth Lodge that all specialize in drug rehabilitation.
Like any other school, we have spoken about this case to the education department and we will continue to work collaboratively with police, professionals and other stakeholders to look into any other extra measure that can help control and prevent substance abuse among young students in schools and in the entire community, says the emailed letter.