Four-year prison sentence for woman caught with £8,000-worth of heroin

A Merseyside drugs courier was sentenced to four years in prison when she appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court today after pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin worth almost £8,000.

Lila Bernadette Cartwright, 47, a prisoner in Cornton Vale, had been caught by police on the A970 at Gulberwick on 17th February in an intelligence-led operation.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said that Cartwright had a lengthy record for trafficking, most recently dealing in class A drugs. Her story was an “all-too familiar” one, he said, in which a Merseyside drugs courier who had no connection with Shetland arrived here. The car in which she was travelling from Sumburgh with a younger male was stopped by police, but Cartwright would not provide information about where she was going or who she was.

She was detained by police, taken to the police station and strip-searched, but would not co-operate with an internal concealment procedure.

A warrant was then obtained to do this and drugs were found in her rectum. Some were recovered but she was taken to the Gilbert Bain Hospital for further procedures. X-rays revealed she still had a further two packets in her body, which were later recovered.

In total she was carrying 60.83 grammes of heroin in 392 pre-prepared £20 wraps, with a value of £7,840.

When interviewed by police she refused to comment.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said that heroin addict Cartwright, who has a 31-year-old son and is a carer for her mother, had a drugs debt and “people she was involved with” put pressure on her to bring drugs to Shetland. She herself had had no financial gain from doing so.

Sentencing Cartwright, Sheriff Graeme Napier said it was a serious offence and Cartwright had three previous convictions for drug dealing. Her four year sentence will be backdated to 21st February.


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