23rd October 2018
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Lerwick drug dealer jailed for more than two years

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A man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison after admitting supplying drugs.

Innes Irvine, 46, of Twageos Road, Lerwick, was handed the 28-month jail term after being found with thousands of pounds-worth of cocaine, amphetamine and STP.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard today that Irvine had been involved in feeding the supply chain “at a fairly significant level” – although he denied selling the drugs directly to their end users.

Police searches uncovered enough cocaine to realise a potential street deal worth £8,950, as well as 994 grammes of the class B substance amphetamine which, the court heard, could have fetched almost £20,000 at street level. The remaining class A drug, meanwhile, would potentially have realised £4,600.

Irvine admitted supplying the drugs in Lerwick’s Co-op car park and at Twageos Road between February and June. A sum of money and a “tick-list” were also recovered.

He also admitted starting the engine of his vehicle and attempting to drive away from Gilbertson Road on 22nd February as police officers, acting on intelligence, tried to carry out a search.

Sheriff Mhari MacTaggart was told Irvine began to struggle with police after they secured the keys and removed him from the car.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Irvine was heavily involved in drug supply.

“The different types of drugs, the quantity of money and the tick-list would suggest to the Crown that this is someone who is involved in introducing a variety of drugs to Shetland at a fairly significant level.”

Defence agent Lee Qumsieh said Irvine’s role was confined to storing and transporting the drugs to his home address, and also keeping them in his vehicle.

“He hasn’t had involvement in the physical sale of drugs to the public.”

He said people had taken advantage of Irvine and left the drugs with him for “safekeeping”.

“He doesn’t seek to deny that he was concerned in the supply of these drugs. His position is he was holding the drugs in storage for safekeeping for other persons.”

Mr Qumsieh insisted Irvine made no profit from his offending. He pointed to a police interview in which Irvine stated: “I was just helping people out.”

He added Irvine had suffered from poor health, which had culminated in the removal of his kidneys. He requires dialysis treatment three times a week.

He added that Irvine had also lost consciousness for six weeks in June 2011 as a result of a serious head injury. It was discovered subsequently that he had suffered a stroke.

Mr Qumsieh urged the sheriff to take account of Irvine’s health, the fact that he had pleaded guilty at the first diet and that his role was very much limited.

However Sheriff MacTaggart suspected Irvine was further up in the supply chain than he had admitted.

“I have taken on board what has been said from both sides of the table. I don’t know where in the chain of supply you come, but I rather suspect you are further up than you say.”

She backdated his sentence to June when he was remanded.

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