Mum whose baby son died after ingesting mephedrone has sentence cut

Amy Beck was sentenced to seven years in prison after three-month-old Olly-James Sievwright was found to have been exposed to the drugs mephedrone and MDMA.

Drug dealing mum whose baby son died after ingesting mephedrone has sentence cut Derek Ironside

A drug dealing mother whose baby son died after ingesting a narcotic at her home has had her jail sentence cut by appeal judges.

Amy Beck was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment in April this year after three-month-old Olly-James Sievwright was found to have been exposed to the drugs mephedrone, known as M-CAT, and MDMA, commonly called Ecstasy.

The baby boy, who was born prematurely, died on December 22, 2019 primarily from a peritonitis infection with exposure to the Class B drug mephedrone also listed as a cause of death.

After Beck was jailed, lawyers acting for her raised an appeal challenging the length of the prison sentence imposed on her.

Lord Malcolm, sitting with Lord Matthews, at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh quashed the sentence imposed at the High Court in Edinburgh earlier this year and substituted a sentence of four years imprisonment.

Lord Matthews said, in delivering the court’s judgement: “We have come to the conclusion, in all the circumstances, it can properly be said the sentence was excessive.”

The appeal judges said the sentencing exercise in the case was “a very difficult one” and although Beck was involved in drug supply for almost three years she did not intend to harm children nor that her infant son should die.

It was said it was clearly a tragic case which showed that the abuse of controlled drugs could have consequences far beyond those that were obvious.

Olly-James was found to have ingested mephedrone and experts considered that it would have compromised his ability to deal with peritonitis.

Defence counsel David Moggach argued that the sentence imposed on Beck was excessive and maintained that the trial judge had erred in assessing her level of culpability.

He said it was not part of the prosecution case that Beck had deliberately intended to cause harm to children. The defence counsel said her drug dealing was sporadic and low level, although it had occurred over a period of time.

Beck, 32, formerly of Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, was convicted after a trial at the High Court in Aberdeen of being concerned in the supply of mephedrone and a further three charges of exposing children, including Olly-James, to drugs in a way likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to their health.

She was found guilty of exposing the baby boy to illicit substances between September 17, 2019 and the date of his death at an address in Sandhaven, in Aberdeenshire.

Judge Tait told her: “I am mindful that you did not intend to harm any of the children nor that your infant son die.

“However, as a drug dealer and drug user, you allowed drugs and other drug users to be in close proximity to children and therefore exposed three children to the risk of significant harm to their health.

“In the case of your infant son, the ingestion of mephedrone combined with the effects of peritonitis resulted in his death,” she said.

She told the first offender that because of the gravity of the charges only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

Beck followed the appeal proceedings via a TV to prison.

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