Man who ran amok in Market Deeping has sentence cut on appeal

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A DRUG dealer who brandished a stun gun in a market town has won a cut in his three-year sentence.

Giuseppe Depaolo, 25, and others ran amok through the centre of Market Deeping in the early hours of September 4 last year, threatening members of the public.

After admitting possessing a prohibited weapon, possessing cocaine with intent to supply and threatening behaviour, he was jailed at Lincoln Crown Court in January.

But on Friday, after an appeal, Depaolo, of Deene Close, Market Deeping, had his sentence cut by two months by top judges to reward him for owning up to his crimes.

Mr Justice Treacy said Depaolo was entitled to a reduction for admitting the threatening behaviour and cut the total sentence to two years and 10 months.

The judge, sitting at the Court of Appeal with Lord Justice Davis and Judge Peter Collier QC, said Depaolo had been guilty of “disgraceful public disorder” that night.

He and other young people had been running around the town centre like a pack of animals and Depaolo himself had clearly been looking for a fight.

CCTV camera footage showed him swinging a punch at a man and, after being chased off, returning with a stun gun, the appeal judge said.

When his home was searched, police found hidden in the garage about £1,000 worth of cocaine, as well as scales and a roll of clingfilm.

He already had a long list of convictions, for offences including attempted robbery, assaulting police and using threatening words and behaviour.

Sentencing him, the crown court judge said it was a mistake to charge him with threatening behaviour for such a serious piece of disorder, which was more like an affray.

And because it had been caught on camera, there would have been no way Depaolo could contest the allegation, meaning he would get no credit for pleading guilty.

Giving the appeal judgment, Mr Justice Treacy said: “Even in overwhelming cases, credit should be given for a guilty plea unless the interests of justice require otherwise.

“The judge’s frustration at the flawed charging decision made by the CPS is wholly understandable and, after a trial, he would have been fully justified in imposing the maximum sentence, given the circumstances of the offence and this appellant’s past record.

“However, a discount should have been granted for the plea and the judge made an error of principle in failing to do so.”