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Churchill's great-grandson in jail

The great-grandson of the late British prime minister Winston Churchill has been sentenced to three years in an Australian prison.

world Updated: Dec 20, 2007 20:45 IST

The great-grandson of the late British prime minister Winston Churchill has been sentenced to three years in an Australian prison, British media reported on Thursday.

Nicholas Jake Barton, 33, was arrested in June 2006 after the police discovered 250,000 psychotropic Ecstasy pills and drug-making equipment in his home. He pleaded guilty "to knowingly taking part in the supply of a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug" in November 2007, the Daily Telegraph website said.

"The fact that the defendant is descended from a hero of the 20th century does not affect the sentence I must impose," Justice Charteris was quoted as saying, adding that it "was of historical importance only".

The judge found "no evidence that Barton had been enriched by his involvement in the drug making operation".

Barton went to Australia at the age of 18, and graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1999. He later received Australian citizenship and worked as a pearl farmer in Papua-New Guinea.

The website said Barton's sentence was backdated to the time of his arrest and that he would be eligible for parole by February 2008.