A 32-year-old former officer of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) failed in his quest to have his jail term shortened.
Allen Kennedy, the ex-PSNI officer in question, was sentenced last year in December for trying to procure a firearm using the dark web.
Kennedy had a five-and-a-half-year jail sentence levied on him for perverting the course of justice, drugs charges and firearm offenses.
His sentence also included another five-and-a-half-year term on supervised license once the prison term is over.
As such, the ex-police officer’s sentence aggregated to 11 years.
The former officer—who previously worked at the PSNI station in Strandtown, Belfast—had pleaded guilty last year to several offenses before receiving the sentence.
These included the possession of a silencer, 10 rounds of 9mm ammunition and a 9mm firearm with the intention of endangering life.
Kennedy also admitted to being in possession of cannabis and cocaine.
This admission led to drug charges which further contributed to the lengthy jail term imposed on him by the court.
The Beginning of the Ex-Officer’s Woes
Kennedy’s first arrest came in the year 2014. At this time, the primary charges laid against him were related to the perversion of justice.
This arrest led to his suspension from the PSNI task force that year.
During the period he was serving his suspension, there were allegations that he got involved in the purchase of narcotics.
The other claim was that he tried to purchase a firearm using the dark web.
These allegations called various investigators working for the PSNI into action.
The officers covertly conducted the operation to avoid raising any alarms which could have triggered Kennedy to cover his tracks.
How Kennedy Got Busted
Through the covert operation, the PSNI agents managed to trick Kennedy into transacting with them through the dark web with the item of purchase being a gun.
He unknowingly handed the undercover police officers cash for the products which he believed to be a gun, a silencer and ammunition.
After apprehending him for trying to purchase the gun through the dark web, the PSNI officers proceeded to conduct further inspections.
They began with his motor vehicle, where they found cocaine and other narcotics.
Apart from these items, they also found text messages linked to a drug vendor, as well as dealer bags.
The police officers continued their investigation by raiding two properties.
In one of them, they found a substantial amount of drugs, price lists, as well as documents on how to access and use the dark web.
Following the investigations, the officers took Kennedy to court. The prosecutor argued that the accused tried to purchase the gun from the dark web for his protection as he conducted his drug dealings.
This accusation was contrary to Kennedy’s claim that he was planning to shoot himself with the gun.
Due to the substantial evidence provided by the PSNI officers, Kennedy was left to plead guilty for attempting to purchase a gun through the dark web.
This action led to the 11-year sentence delivered by the court in 2017.
The Appeal Decision
Kennedy followed the jail sentence ruling by appealing to have the term reduced.
His lawyer argued that the sentence was manifestly excessive, an assertion which did not coincide with that of Belfast’s senior judges.
Further, Kennedy’s lawyer argued that the charges laid against him for perverting the course of justice influenced the rulings for the other offenses.
The other issue raised was that Kennedy’s former job as a PSNI officer was being considered a weighty variable in his drugs and firearms charges.
Nonetheless, Lord Justice Donnell Deeny, who was hearing the plea at the Court of Appeal, dismissed the issues raised.
He, therefore, ruled that the previous conviction was not manifestly excessive—leading to Kennedy losing the appeal.
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