30th September 2016
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Drugs courier told to expect jail

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A drugs courier has been warned to expect a prison sentence after he admitted supplying cannabis resin.

Jamie Southgate, 40, ferried 4.8 kilogrammes to the isles on the NorthLink boat on 5th September.

He was caught by police at the ferry terminal in Lerwick’s Holmsgarth Road after officers received intelligence that he would be travelling to Shetland.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court Southgate, of Flat 22, Chandlers Heights, Shadycombe Road in Devon’s Salcombe, admitted being concerned in supply.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the drugs seized could have fetched a street value of £16,000 – although he said Southgate was acting on behalf of others.

He was stopped coming off the ferry and was “extremely nervous”.

“It’s accepted he was a courier here, and not actively involved in selling and distribution,” he said.

The fiscal said it was accepted Southgate had been coerced, albeit not in a legal sense.

Defence agent Tommy Allan moved for bail, which would allow Southgate time to put his affairs in order.

He said Southgate had been due to take over a joinery business run by his father.

Southgate had neither understood the system in Scotland or the seriousness of the position he was in, said Mr Allan. But he understood his predicament now, particularly after spending a night in custody.

“He knows the most likely outcome would be a custodial sentence.”

Sheriff Philip Mann told Southgate: “Dealing in drugs is treated very seriously here in the islands, given the location of the islands and the drugs problems that exist here.”

He said he also recognised that Southgate had been supplying a Class B drug rather than a Class A one.

He warned him: “The most likely disposal is a custodial sentence, which would be for a significant period. However, I’m prepared to allow you bail in the meantime to allow you to put your house in order.”