Churchill great grandson jailed in Australia

The great-grandson of late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for his part in a multimillion-dollar Ecstasy racket.

Churchill great grandson jailed in Australia

Nicholas Jake Barton was arrested at his Sydney home in June last year during a series of raids in which officers seized about 250,000 Ecstasy tablets worth about $13 million.

The 34-year-old Briton, son of Sir Winston's granddaughter Arabella Spencer Churchill and James Barton, pleaded guilty in Sydney's District Court last month to knowingly taking part in supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug. The charge is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.

Judge Colin Charteris sentenced Barton to three years. He can be considered for parole in 20 months.

Barton's sentence has been backdated to his arrest, so he could be free on parole in February 2008.

The judge called the sentence an opportunity to "temper justice with mercy." The court had been told that Barton's mother was expected to die of pancreatic cancer by April.

The judge said he expected that Barton would be allowed to leave Australia to visit his mother before her death.

Charteris found Barton had a "belated and limited role in the supply of the drugs seized by police."

"In determining the appropriateness of the sentence, the fact the defendant is descended from a hero of the 20th century does not affect the sentence I must impose," the judge said.

Sir Winston was Britain's prime minister from 1940 until the end of World War II in 1945, then again for four years starting in 1951.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2007, 12:48