Drugs mule jailed

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A man is beginning a three year jail sentence after he admitted smuggling almost £13,000-worth of heroin into the isles.

Derek McLean, 38, from Ayr was handed the jail term when he appeared on indictment at Lerwick Sheriff Court yesterday.

Sheriff Philip Mann was told the Class A user concealed 11 packages of heroin before boarding the NorthLink ferry at Aberdeen.

The court heard McLean had built up £2,000 in drugs debts. He was warned his family would be in danger if he failed to smuggle the heroin bags – weighing 130 grammes – to the isles.

But he was arrested as he disembarked the ferry at Lerwick’s Holmsgarth terminal on 11th May.

The court was told the packages were only thinly wrapped, and McLean was happy to have them removed as they had posed a risk to his health.

Sheriff Philip Mann accepted McLean’s family had been threatened. But he said he had little sympathy for McLean. The sheriff said the accused could have gone straight to the police.

He backdated the jail term to 12th May, when McLean was first taken into custody.