Doncaster drug dealer has sentencing delayed again

28 February 2019

An Albanian man convicted of producing over 500 cannabis plants will have to wait even longer until he is sentenced.

Romeo Lamaj, 28, of Cheviot Drive, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to being concerned with production of a Class B drug on December 24th last year.

However, prosecutors are yet to provide evidence requested by a judge last month in order for an appropriate sentence to be handed down.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how there was intelligence on Lamaj’s alleged criminal past in Albania, but the prosecution were unable to give any further information at the hearing this week.

Information was also requested on how he was allegedly deported from the UK previously, before returning under a false name. But, the prosecution were also unable to provide this.

Prosecuting, Gurdial Singh QC could not explain why information had not been provided. He did however emphasise the seriousness of the crime.

He said: “The value of the drugs was around £500,000. There were 524 plants in various states of growth.”

Defending, Andrew Smith QC, disputed this claim.

He said: “£500,000 is a best value estimate. There’s a number of factors involved in this.”

He also criticised the slowness in sentencing Lamaj.

Lamaj wants to get this over and done with.

“The prosecution were given a chance to prepare, and they’re still not ready. It’s simply not fair to the defendant.”

Presiding over the case, Mr Recorder Bernard Gateshill expressed disappointment at having to adjourn it once more.

He said: “It is essential to have the matters raised fully investigated in order to fairly sentence this defendant.

“Reluctant as I am in the circumstances, I have to adjourn the matter.”

Mr Gateshill did however warn Lamaj that considering the seriousness of the crime, a prison sentence was inevitable.

Lamaj is now set to be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on March 6th.

Written by Richard Green

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