A man who was arrested with a small amount of heroin was “doing the dirty work” for two convicted drug dealers, jurors were told.
A jury trial got underway at Lerwick Sheriff Court today where David Robertson, 57, of Hill Grind, Lerwick, denies supplying heroin at his home between 17th April and 15th May last year.
He is relying on a special defence that if anyone was concerned in the supply of heroin it was two Ayrshire men who pleaded guilty last year.
The court heard that police, acting on information received, had stopped and searched Robertson as he drove around Lerwick on 15th May, 2014. They arrested him after finding 3.3 grammes of heroin in his pocket and a mobile phone on the dashboard which rang constantly during the search.
Shortly after two plain clothes officers searched Robertson’s house and found a syringe prepared with heroin and other items of evidence. The officers were astonished when two men, James Kennedy and Greg Lawrie, both from Maybole, Ayrshire, and now prisoners at Barlinnie, hurled a large conch shell through a back window of the house and entered the building.
Both were arrested by the detectives and Lawrie was found to have a special delivery package addressed to Robertson’s house that contained 70 grammes of heroin. He had earlier intercepted the postman and signed for the package himself.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie and detective sergeant Brian Ronald outlined a transcript of two interviews with Robertson where he at first claimed not to know Kennedy or Lawrie, a claim that was contradicted by them when they were questioned separately.
In the first interview Mr Ronald had put it to Robertson that he was “doing the dirty work for someone else” and was being used as a “soft touch” and was being “lined up for a big fall.”
It was only in the second interview, after being told that Lawrie had claimed he was only delivering the parcel for Robertson, that Robertson admitted that drugs were being sent to his house for distribution by Kennedy, who was the main man in the operation. Lawrie appeared to take his orders from the older man. Robertson, an addict who typically took heroin three times a day, got a share of the delivered drug for his own use. Lawrie had been staying at Robertson’s off and on, while Kennedy, who had only arrived in Shetland a week before, was staying in a hotel.
Mobile phones taken off the men were found to contain 169 separate communications between Lawrie and Robertson and 28 between Kennedy and Robertson.
Liam MacAllister, representing Robertson, said that his client had only a user’s amount of heroin in his possession, a point to which both Mr Robertson and detective constable Rebecca Massie both agreed, while the only heroin found inside the house, other than the package in Lawrie’s possession, was that in the syringe. Mr MacAllister also pointed out that the mobile phone evidence was evidence of contact rather than content, of which the police had no knowledge.
The trial continues tomorrow.