Former gas plant worker admits cocaine offences

A man who brought almost £2,000 worth of cocaine to the isles while working at the Shetland Gas Plant has had his sentenced deferred after admitting the offences.

David Leadbetter, 47, of Munro Gardens, Laurieston, Falkirk appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court today. He pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine on 21st September 2015.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said police had “intelligence” that Leadbetter would be coming off the ferry with drugs.

“He was stopped en route to his place up north,” said Mr MacKenzie. Police searched Leadbetter and took him back to the police station. A full search of his car was carried out.

Officers found 39.15 grammes of cocaine with a maximum potential value of £1,900.

“It is accepted that this dealing was confined to a circle of friends,” Mr MacKenzie said and Leadbetter had purchased the cocaine south because it would have been cheaper.

Leadbetter also had about £550 in cash which was taken back by the court.

Defence solicitor Gordon Nicol said Leadbetter and two friends had contributed to the £750 paid for the cocaine, which was to be split between them.

“He realises the stupidity of it,” Mr Nicol said.

The court heard Leadbetter had a previous conviction for a similar offence.

Sheriff Philip Mann said it was not a particularly large amount of drugs, though he would have to consider all options.

“It is a serious charge,” he said in spite of the drugs being supplied among friends.

Sheriff Mann added: “By agreeing to source the drugs, on the basis of that arrangement, you’re still responsible for putting drugs into circulation and encouraging, and causing adverse consequences, and all of the issues that drug use can bring to any place, particularly these islands.”

Sentence was deferred until 12th October for background reports.


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