The Bristolian | 30.10.2001 02:52
But the cops decided these eight plants were not for Clifton's own use, and he was charged with "growing with intent to supply" - a more serious charge. But even this was not enough for the zealous cops and Crown Prosecution Service. They alleged that Clifton has been growing and supplying for 10 years - a figure completely plucked out of thin air with no evidence to back it up. Based on an entirely fantastic notion of two crops a year for 10 years, they estimated the value of these eight plants to Clifton was £100,000!! Yes that's right, £100,000!!! Clifton was asked to provide receipts from his building work for the last ten years to "prove" he had not made his money from selling the homegrown. Needless to say, like most self-employed jobbing builders Clifton has not been able to produce all receipts from the last 10 years.
So the case came to Bristol Crown Court two weeks ago. Clifton pleaded guilty on the advice of his solicitor. He was sentenced to 30 months in jail - a totally disproportionate sentence for growing dope plants and currently unheard of anywhere else in England. But it got even worse: he was also ordered to pay £50,000 from his alleged profits during those 30 months in jail or face an addition 18 months in jail if the money is not paid. This makes a total of a 4 YEAR SENTENCE! How is expected to pay £50,000 while in jail the Judge did not explain or seem much to care about as he dozed on the bench. In the meantime the mortgage of Clifton's house has been assigned to the Courts and his car repossessed. Oh yes, the car! The car of choice for the rich drug baron - a J Reg Ford Fiesta!! This all on a charge of growing eight dope plants with intent to supply. There was never any charge of actual dealing made or any evidence supplied, but the police persisted falsely and vindictively with the intent to supply charge.
When we heard about this we could hardly believe it to be true - but it is. A family a facing ruin, hardship, eviction and imprisonment because of these totally vindictive and unjust actions by the Bristol police and Courts. In the meantime the Police will no doubt count the notional value of the £100,000 drugs that never existed into their target figures for OPERATION ATRIUM to show what a success it has been. Maybe the cops could rename Operation Atrium for exactly what it is: "Operation Target Black Dope Smokers While White Heroin Dealers Are Left To Get On With It".
The Easton community must not stand for this sentence and a campaign needs to be launched to free Clifton Mighty and have the charges reduced and his family restored to unity. We hope to bring you further details. Watch this space.
CLIFTON H MIGHTY STITCH-UP LATEST
It seems like the Bristol cops have had it in for Clifton for a very, very long time - waiting for their opportunity for over 20 years in fact. After the big ST PAULS RIOT in 1980, Clifton was one of ten local people facing serious charges of assaulting the police during the riot. All were acquitted of all charges - being represented at the time by no less than now Home Office Minister Paul Boateng. This has festered with the cops for the last TWENTY YEARS. Several anonymous contacts to the Bristolian have talked of the cops' desperation over many years to "get Clifton Mighty". Well, now they have succeeded! In the light of the proposed changes to the Cannabis Laws, Clifton's four-year sentence seems even more vindictive. The Bristolian has handed details of Clifton's case to Jean Corston MP who has promised to look into it - but don't hold yer breath.
In the meantime, other ideas for campaigning are very welcome.