A man who tried to sneak heroin into the isles was spared a prison sentence when he appeared today at Lerwick Sheriff Court.
Instead Peter Henderson, 31, of Kalliness, Weisdale, was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work over three months by Sheriff Valerie Johnston.
Henderson was caught at the Holmsgarth ferry terminal on 15th August last year after returning on the boat from Aberdeen with 17.91 grammes of the class A drug concealed in his person.
He had gone down to the mainland to celebrate his 30th birthday and bought the substance while in Aberdeen. However the police were given a tip-off and were waiting for him at the ferry terminal on his return. They detained him and took him back to the police station where the heroin was removed in two separate packages.
The court heard the drugs had a street value of £750. However procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said he was satisfied the drugs were “not for trafficking” and had been intended for Henderson’s personal use.
Defence agent John Slavin said Henderson had been exposed to drug misuse since 2007. Since then he had become physiologically and physically dependent – daily – on the drug.
Mr Slavin said Henderson had been working 12 hour shifts six or seven days a week on the construction of a new pier in the West Side.
“To buy heroin in the islands is substantially more expensive than on the mainland. He had arranged to go to Aberdeen just after his 30th birthday. While on the mainland, because of his earnings he had, he was able to purchase a substantial supply for himself which was substantially cheaper than buying it here in the islands.”
He added Henderson had since benefited from the support of his family as well as the alcohol and drugs service and had become drug-free. Despite a relapse at Easter, he was no longer reliant on heroin.
Sentencing him, the sheriff said: “This is a punishment for what you have done which gives back to the community. You were found with a fairly significant amount of drugs and heroin is a scourge not just to the islands but to the whole of the country.”