An Aberdeen man who brought £5,000-worth of heroin into Shetland was jailed for more than two-and-a-half years today when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court.
Karl Mortimer, 45, of the city’s Linksfield Court, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin at Holmsgarth, Lerwick, on 2nd August last year and to failing to appear at court in Lerwick on 21st March.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said that Mortimer, who had no connection with Shetland, brought two packs of heroin containing a total of 37.3 grammes into the isles concealed internally.
Police, acting on intelligence, were waiting for him when he got off the ferry. After this offence he was released on bail.
Defence solicitor Graeme Murray said Mortimer had had a severe drug problem in the 1990s but recently this had improved. However he had difficulty coping with the death of his mother last year and started using heroin again regularly.
He had run up a drug debt of £5,000 and told the “alarming” story that people he owed money to bundled him into the boot of a car, took him to a house, tied him to a chair, knocked some of his teeth out and gave him the “stark choice” of taking heroin to Shetland or being put in a 45 gallon drum and being dropped in a lake. Mortimer took the option offered by the dealers.
Mr Murray also said that Mortimer did not have funding to attend Lerwick Sheriff Court in March, but had since kept in touch. He said that Mortimer was now on a reducing methadone prescription and asked for leniency.
Sheriff Philip Mann said that those who deal in drugs must accept the consequences. He said: “Coercion is no excuse for peddling misery. I must send a message to anyone bringing misery to the people of Shetland: they will be dealt with severely.”
Sentencing Mortimer to 32 months in prison, the sheriff said: “You had no business trying to disrupt the lives of the good people of the isles.”
* A man who had £100 worth of heroin in his possession last year was fined £100 at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.
Ryan Inkster, 32, of Bridge-End, Burra, was found with the drug at a house in Grodians, Lerwick, on 26th April last year.
Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said Inkster had been on methadone since then and had put himself through courses in Aberdeen with a view to getting employment offshore.
Sheriff Philip Mann said it was time to draw a line under the matter and the fine reflected the fact Inkster was getting on well and has been of good behaviour.