Drug dealing mum whose baby died after ingesting M-CAT and ecstasy has jail sentence cut

-Credit: (Image: Newsline)
-Credit: (Image: Newsline)


A drug dealing mother whose baby son died after ingesting M-CAT and ecstasy at her home had her jail sentence cut by appeal judges today.

Amy Beck, 32, was jailed for seven years in April after three month old Olly-James Sievwright was found to have been exposed to the drugs mephedrone, known as M-CAT, and MDMA, commonly called Ecstasy.

The baby boy, who was born prematurely, died on December 22 in 2019 primarily from a peritonitis infection with exposure to the Class B drug mephedrone also listed as a cause of death.

Lawyers acting for Beck raised an appeal challenging the length of the prison sentence imposed on her.

Lord Malcolm, sitting with Lord Matthews, at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh today quashed the sentence imposed at the High Court in Edinburgh earlier this year, branding it "excessive".

A substituted a sentence of four years' imprisonment was issued.

Lord Matthews said, in delivering the court's judgement: "We have come to the conclusion, in all the circumstances, it can properly be said the sentence was excessive."

The appeal judges said the sentencing exercise in the case was "a very difficult one" and although Beck was involved in drug supply for almost three years she did not intend to harm children nor that her infant son should die.

It was said it was clearly a tragic case which showed that the abuse of controlled drugs could have consequences far beyond those that were obvious.

Olly-James was found to have ingested mephedrone and experts considered that it would have compromised his ability to deal with peritonitis.

Defence counsel David Moggach argued that the sentence imposed on Beck was excessive and maintained that the trial judge had erred in assessing her level of culpability.

He said it was not part of the prosecution case that Beck had deliberately intended to cause harm to children. The defence counsel said her drug dealing was sporadic and low level, although it had occurred over a period of time.

Beck, formerly of School Street, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, was convicted after a trial at the High Court in Aberdeen of being concerned in the supply of mephedrone and a further three charges of exposing children, including Olly-James, to drugs in a way likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to their health.

She was found guilty of exposing the baby boy to illicit substances between September 17 in 2019 and the date of his death at an address in St Magnus Road, Sandhaven, in Aberdeenshire.

During a hearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, judges were told the Crown couldn't support Hattie's conviction -Credit:Daily Record/Sunday Mail
During a hearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, judges were told the Crown couldn't support Hattie's conviction -Credit:Daily Record/Sunday Mail

Judge Tait told her: "I am mindful that you did not intend to harm any of the children nor that your infant son die."

"However, as a drug dealer and drug user, you allowed drugs and other drug users to be in close proximity to children and therefore exposed three children to the risk of significant harm to their health. In the case of your infant son, the ingestion of mephedrone combined with the effects of peritonitis resulted in his death," she said.

She told the first offender that because of the gravity of the charges only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

Beck followed the appeal proceedings via a TV to prison.

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