The drug dealer, who ultimately caused the death of a reality star after he supplied her with illegal drugs before she fell from a window, will have his fully suspended sentence reviewed following public outrage.
The 27-year-old reality star, Aimee Spencer, who participated in the Newcastle reality show, fell from a first-floor window on July 11, 2016, at Chichester Terrace, Brighton, sustaining severe injuries. She had attended a party which she had been invited to by Daniel Lewis and his girlfriend, Dawson Helen, at their house where she had the accident.
According to the investigating officers, Aimee Spencer had taken lethal doses of ketamine and cocaine, supplied by Daniel Lewis, which contributed to the incident. Lewis had been selling illegal drugs he bought from dark web marketplaces especially during parties.
Lewis and his wife, Dawson Helen, then girlfriend, were arrested on July 12, 2016, by Sussex Police for the incident and drug trafficking. Lewis was charged with attempted murder and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute to his potential customers.
Ms. Spencer succumbed to her injuries and died on July 18, 2016, at Royal Sussex County Hospital seven days after she fell from the window in Brighton at Lewis’s house. Investigating detectives on the case said that a drug test revealed that Ms. Spencer had taken high doses of cocaine and ketamine, drugs which were also found in Lewis’s house. Detectives also found text messages sent by Lewis to Ms. Spencer promising her party magic pills prior to the incident.
However, the death of Ms. Spencer led the detectives to uncover Lewis’s illicit drug business. He admitted to buying illegal party drugs including ketamine, methadone, LSD, and cocaine wholesale on the dark web, and then repackaging and retailing them to his nationwide customers mainly in clubs. He, however, said that he had neither met his suppliers nor customers in person as he mailed drug packages to their home addresses after they placed orders and paid using bitcoins.
Daniel Lewis, 30, admitted to supplying class C, B and A drugs which he bought on the dark web before turning his house to a repackaging center where he lived free of charge courtesy of his grandparents’ trust fund. On searching his home, the police seized illegal drugs worth over £15,000 and £20,000 in cash.
He was charged for attempted murder and possession of illegal drugs with intent to distribute. However, on May 8 last year, the charge for attempted murder was dropped after an inquest concluded that the circumstances under which Ms. Spencer fell were uncertain.
Before Judge Christine Laing at Lewes Crown Court, Lewis pleaded guilty to seven charges of possession with intent to distribute class C, B and A drugs, and another count for possession of ketamine.
When sentencing, Judge Laing said she had considered that the suspect had changed behaviorally after the incidence, and that evidence of this change included his move to a new location out of Brighton and joining a charity group. He was given a two-year fully suspended jail sentence on condition that he completes 300 hours of charity work and adheres to a 120-day curfew.
The leniency of his judgment is what triggered a public outrage which has drawn the attention of the Attorney General who, on Tuesday, referred the judgment to the Crown Prosecution Service for review within 4 weeks. After discussion, the case can then be submitted for re-sentencing in the Court of Appeals.