Man caught with £1,000 worth of heroin spared jail term

A man who admitted having heroin with intent to supply was spared a prison sentence at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.

Nicholas Stokes, 48, of Menzies Road in Aberdeen, was instead placed on a 12 month probation order and told to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work.

Stokes had previously pleaded guilty to possessing the class A drug at a house in Sandveien on 28th August last year.

He had travelled to Shetland with another man, who was known to police, to visit friends.

Stokes stole the heroin from his companion, and had intended to share it with a group of “mutual drug users”.

Police searched the Sandveien house and uncovered eight grammes of diamorphine divided into two packages.

The drugs, broken down to the smallest street deals, could have fetched £1,000.

Sentence had been deferred for background reports.

Stokes had been warned he could possibly be going to jail, however sheriff Graeme Napier heard he had taken steps to deal with his drug problems.

Defence agent Lynn Bentley said Stokes had been co-operative while on a methadone programme.

She said he had provided numerous negative samples, and was now on methadone on a weekly rather than a daily basis.

She said Stokes was willing to undertake a community service order and had been assessed as being suitable for probation.

“He is not assessed as a high risk offender,” she said.

Sheriff Napier said he was impressed by the positive impression Stokes had made on social workers compiling the background reports.

“You’ve taken it upon yourself to take steps to deal with your drug problem, however – as you’ll no doubt be aware – the problem is not just getting on the methadone programme, it’s about reducing your reliance on drugs.”


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