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Judge spares cocaine user jail, says ‘he should suffer no more for dabbling than Michael Gove’

Judge spares cocaine user jail, says ‘he should suffer no more for dabbling than Michael Gove’
A judge has let a cocaine user walk free after pointing out that Tory leadership contender and former Justice Secretary Michael Gove got away with the same crime.

Lithuanian Giedrius Arbaciauskas was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court of class A drug possession. Cocaine use falls into this category. Judge Owen Davies QC handed the defendant a 12-month conditional discharge for a crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years.

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Explaining why he wasn’t giving Arbaciauskas a custodial sentence, Judge Davies highlighted the circumstances surrounding Gove, who has admitted to taking cocaine during his years as a journalist – adding he was “fortunate” to avoid prison.

He should suffer no more for dabbling in cocaine than should a former Lord Chancellor [Michael Gove].

Many on social media have questioned what kind of precedent this sets for new cases of drugs offences. Some suggested that current prison inmates serving time for drug-related crimes will now be “on the phone to their lawyer.”

Others online highlighted the issue of youths caught up in drug-related violence, asking: “How many teenage boys were stabbed to bring him is [sic] coke?”

Gove, the current environment secretary, is jostling with the likes of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to become the next Tory leader and de facto UK prime minister. Five candidates remain going into Wednesday’s third round of voting. Johnson is still proving to be the man to beat – odds on with the bookmakers to become Theresa May’s successor.

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