- The two defendants are jointly charged with possession of 6.5 kgs of cannabis with intent to supply. The prosecution invite the court to admit Marshall’s two previous convictions for that offence in 2017 and 2018 as propensity evidence pursuant to s.101(d) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
- On 27 February 2020 a search warrant was executed at 142 Westerfield Road, London and both defendants were found asleep in an upstairs bedroom. Seized from a wardrobe in the same room was a holdall containing a large quantity of cannabis, some smaller quantities of cannabis in self-seal bags, and a quantity of self-seal bags. Fingerprint samples taken from the large bag of cannabis and the quantity of self-seal bags showed a positive match to Marshall. Both defendants were arrested and at the Police Station Marshall was found to have a small quantity of cannabis on his person.
- Prior to the search, police undertook surveillance of the property and observed behaviour indicative of drug supply (see statement PC Hardy). This evidence is supported by a complaint made by a neighbour (Caitlin Reed) of people coming and going at all times day and night, entering for a few minutes before leaving.
- Marshall gave no comment responses to all questions asked of him in three interviews. In her first interview, Tia Ward denied possession and intention to supply the cannabis, but then went on to direct the Police to a larger quantity of cannabis in the shed of the property, which went on to be seized the same day. The Police swabbed blood samples on the door to the shed which was forensically established to be that of Marshall.
- Both defendants were re-interviewed following the seizure, and in Marshall’s case, following receipt of the forensic evidence and evidence linking him to the address but gave no comment responses to all questions asked of them.
- On 09.04.2020 at the PTPH, both defendants entered not guilty pleas to both offences, denying residence at the address, possession and knowledge of the drugs, as well as the requisite intention to supply the drugs to another.
- The case is listed for trial at this court in the warned list.
Application to adduce previous convictions
- The important matter in issue between prosecution and defence in this case is whether Marshall has a propensity to possess quantities of cannabis with the intent to supply them to others such as would suggest he is guilty of this offence or whether the presence of large quantities of cannabis and cash proximate to a person with his convictions is coincidence. This is a strong prosecution case because:
- Marshall and Ward were in a room with large quantities of cannabis, dealing paraphernalia (snap bags), cash and a weapon. They were the only persons at the property and it is fanciful to suggest such valuable criminal commodities would be abandoned in such close proximity to the defendants by persons unknown.
- Officers and a neighbour have observed behaviour consistent with the proposition that commercial drug dealing took place at the property.
- A large quantity of cannabis was recovered from a garden shed to which Marshall is forensically linked.