Woman gets one-year jail term for ‘social supply’ of cocaine

A woman who supplied cocaine to a circle of friends has been jailed for 12 months.

Sarah Gibson, 23, of Sandholme Place in Glasgow, previously admitted supplying the Class A drug on 26th January when she was living in Sandwick.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court yesterday Gibson was told there were no exceptional circumstances surrounding her case which should spare her from a custodial sentence.

The offence came to light when a suspicious package arrived at a post office. A warrant was obtained to carry out a controlled delivery.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the package had already been removed by the time police got to the house.

Gibson was located nearby. She took police to a nearby beach, where the package had been secreted in an up-turned boat.

The court heard the package contained 110 grammes of cocaine, with a potential street value of £4,350.

“She admitted during the interview that she knew full well what the package contained,” said Mr MacKenzie.

“She admitted supplying it to an extended circle of friends when she was attending parties.”

A search of Gibson’s house revealed a sum of money and scales. Mr MacKenzie moved the items be forfeited, along with the drugs seized.

He added the Crown accepted Gibson had operated a “social supply” rather than a more widespread commercial venture.

Defence agent Neha Sood said that, given the high value of the drugs and the serious nature of the charge, custody would be “at the forefront” of sheriff Philip Mann’s mind.

However she urged him to consider imposing a community payback order with an unpaid work requirement, as outlined in a background report.

She said Gibson had ordered the drugs from someone she had met, and received more than she had anticipated. She added Gibson had not gained personally from the sale.

Since the offence Gibson has moved to Glasgow to “rebuild her life”. Ms Sood said Gibson had started working for a voluntary organisation that helps the homeless, and enjoys strong support from her family.

“She advises that she is no longer a drug user,” said Ms Sood.

“The report suggests if she continues on the path she is currently on her risk of re-offending will be lowered. There are no previous analogous offences.”

She added Gibson had no outstanding matters and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

“On this basis I’d urge you to consider a community payback order with unpaid work.”

However sheriff Mann told Gibson he could not treat her case as exceptional.

He added part of his public duty was to send out a message that dealing in Class A drugs could not be tolerated.

“You are no doubt an intelligent young woman and you must have known what you were doing was quite wrong.”

Her sentence was reduced from 18 months to reflect the early plea.


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