Drug dealing woman jailed for 46 weeks

A woman who supplied heroin has been jailed at Lerwick Sheriff Court for almost a year.

Pauline Flaws, 39, of Belville Street, Greenock, is beginning her 46 week sentence after she admitted providing the Class A drug for herself and one other person.

She previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply at an address in the town’s Grodians on 28th February last year.

Her arrest came after police acted on intelligence and uncovered heroin worth £1,250 at the address.

Flaws had been warned to expect custody at a previous court appearance, when sheriff Philip Mann ordered background reports.

Today, defence agent Ian McGregor said Flaws had been taking heroin since 2008. She initially sourced the drug locally but later decided she did not wish to be associated with those dealing in drugs in the area.

Mr McGregor told the court Flaws became aware she could source a supply from outwith the isles, and went to Greenock. The cost of the venture was split between her and the other person involved. The court heard she sold furniture in order to fund her part of the enterprise.

The defence agent said Flaws had found it cheaper to buy the Class A drug in bulk.

A few months after the commission of the offence, she had moved to Greenock, where she has family connections.

He added that Flaws had since attended an integrated drugs service in Greenock, and had been prescribed a methadone programme.

“Her heroin use has not stopped totally. She still occasionally reverts back to that. But her ultimate aim is to free herself from illicit drugs completely.”

Sheriff Mann was told Flaws had various health issues to face up to, as well as the possibility of going to prison.

“She is only too aware offences of this nature, involving Class A drugs, will almost certainly result in a custodial sentence,” he said.

However, Mr McGregor urged the sheriff to accept the drugs were not of the highest value, and that the offence was committed during the course of one day only.

“It’s not a commercial enterprise by any stretch of the imagination.”

He added a background report showed Flaws was a “strong candidate” for a restriction of liberty order.

“That’s something she has indicated she would certainly co-operate with.

“She has realised that at 39 years old her life did need to change. She took steps to get away from the area – away from the life she had been living, and had taken positive steps in registering with the integrated drugs service.”

However, sheriff Mann told Flaws: “You are well aware that being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs is a very serious offence. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, anyone who pleads guilty to such an offence can expect a custodial sentence.

“I have heard everything said by your agent, but even supplying one other person facilitates drug dealing higher up the scale.”

The sentence was reduced from a full 12 months to reflect the early plea.


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.