Cocaine dealer told to expect prison

A cocaine dealer will have to wait until the New Year to learn of his punishment.

Paul Grant, 25, of the town’s Burgh Road previously admitted supplying the Class A substance at Freefield and elsewhere between 4th November 2011 and 25th February this year.

However at Lerwick Sheriff Court today procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie argued Grant had been more heavily involved in the drug trade than he had been letting on.

He said there were “significant discrepancies” between the Crown’s position, and what Grant had told social workers compiling background reports.

“The social work report seemed to concentrate on his use of cocaine. His use is irrelevant,” said Mr MacKenzie.

In the end a hearing was fixed for proof of mitigation on 23rd January.

The offence came to light after Grant was stopped by police for his driving.

He had a bag of cocaine worth £1,638 at street level.

However a subsequent search of Grant’s house uncovered mobile phones which were “interrogated”.

Names, incoming and outgoing texts relating to drug dealing on a “wholesale” basis, and on a smaller scale, were uncovered.
“Messages were explicit with regard to quantities and prices,” said Mr MacKenzie.

Some of the texts contained “frequent references” to three or four figure sums of debt. It was also evident there was a tight network of sub-dealers, he said.

The house also contained scales, cut food bags, a hand-written note relating to a drug debt of £550 in relation to one transaction.

“That’s completely at odds with what he’s saying to social workers,” Mr MacKenzie said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan pointed to a background report which offered “good references”.

He argued for Grant to be released on bail, adding he would be arguing the case for a non-custodial sentence.

“He knows full well this is a Class A drug, but I would be seeking to have some influence on you as to whether a custodial sentence will be the outcome.”

Sheriff Philip Mann allowed Grant his liberty for now. But he warned a custodial sentence was likely.

He told Grant: “As previously discussed we are going to have to fix a proof of mitigation. With reluctance I will continue your bail order.”

The sheriff also ordered a supplementary social enquiry report.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.