A wealthy drug dealer from Brighton responsible for the death of one of his clients received a suspended sentence and community service instead of a custodial sentence at a recent hearing at Lewes Crown Court.
Daniel Lewis, 30, sold drugs out of his Chichester Terrace home until one of his clients—while high on a cocktail of illegal substances—fell to her death from a window in Lewis’ kitchen. The police arrived and Lewis greeted them at the front door, naked and sweat profusely. Thanks to a statement from one of Lewis’ neighbors and Lewis’ erratic behavior, the police immediately treated Lewis as a murder suspect. The neighbor told the police that she had seen Lewis “in an agitated state” through one of the windows. When the police searched the house, they discovered thousands of pounds and hundreds of grams of assorted drugs. They hauled Lewis off to jail.
Geordie Shore glamour model Aimee Spencer, the woman who had fallen to her death at Lewis’ house, had arrived at the man’s house to purchase drugs and to get high with Lewis, text messages recovered from Lewis’s phone later revealed. Lewis explained that she had fallen out of the window in an intoxicated state and that he had not pushed her or directly caused the fall. Other evidence eventually proved that what Lewis had claimed about the fall had been accurate and that he had not caused her death. However, he faced serious drug charges for the possession of drugs found at his apartment and then several more charges that stemmed from information collected during the investigation into Spencer’s fatal fall.
Lewis had been using his house as a base of operations for a small drug operation that earned him, in his words, “fuck loads of money.” Evidence revealed that Lewis used darkweb marketplaces to source and purchase ketamine, LSD, cocaine, methadone, and other substances in bulk. He was a heavy drug user and had no actual need for money; his grandfather had left him with a deep trust fund that covered his lifestyle and paid for the Chichester Terrace home. However, his friends learned of Lewis’ ability to access substances rarely found on the streets and turned to Lewis as their supplier. Lewis supplied his wealthy friends with so-called “party platters” of assorted substances that he had purchased on the darkweb.
In drawers behind the refrigerator, the police found drugs worth more than 10,000 dollars. They found similar amounts stashed in several locations around the house, according to prosecutor Nicola Shannon. Lewis, at the time off his arrest, had been living with his girlfriend. She was not charged in connection with the case and now works as the head of the radiology department at a Brighton hospital. Lewis married her after his arrest. When asked by Judge Christine Laing QC why he sold drugs and did not have a job, Lewis’ attorney, Stephen Kamlish, explained that Lewis lived off his trust fund and his wife’s income. After his arrest and release from jail, Lewis had turned his life around, the attorney said. Lewis dedicated the majority of his free time to charity work. At the time of the sentencing hearing, Lewis had been working “full-time” at an autism charity. He had only turned to drugs to deal with his own mental health issues that he had since gotten under control.
Lewis admitted seven counts of possession of class A, B and C drugs with intent to distribute, and a single count count of ketamine possession.
Judge Christine Laing QC was impressed by the steps Lewis had taken to turn his life around after his arrest. He had stopped using and selling drugs. He had worked on his mental health issues. He had moved from his Chichester Terrace home to a house at Piddinghoe Avenue in Peacehaven. And he had married the woman who had helped him through many of his struggles. Seeing that a custodial sentence would do more harm than good, the judge sentenced Lewis to only two years in prison. She suspended the sentence, exchanging prison time for a four-month curfew, the completion of a rehabilitation program, and 300 hours of community service with a charity organization. Given his status as a full-time employee of an autism charity, the 300 hour community service requirement should not significantly impact the man’s life.
In closing, the judge called drug dealers “peddlers of misery.” She showed mercy to Lewis after seeing the way he had genuinely worked on fixing his lifestyle.