A 25-year-old man caught trying to bring cocaine worth almost £50,000 into Shetland has been jailed for 22 months.
Dominic Mclardy, of Calderwood, East Kilbride, appeared for sentencing at Lerwick Sheriff Court today (Wednesday) having previously admitted to being involved in the supply of Class A drugs.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said he hoped the sentence would protect the community by dissuading others from trying to bring drugs into Shetland.
Police stopped Mclardy at Sumburgh Airport on 10th January when he was found with a bag containing 493.8g of cocaine.
He was described in court previously as having been “sweating” and “shaking uncontrollably” when approached by officers.
Sheriff Cruickshank had adjourned the case last month for the preparation of criminal justice social work reports, which were presented to the court on Wednesday.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had no significant offending history but had fallen into addiction and debt when he was out of work during the pandemic.
Although he later secured a well paid job, Mclardy had been unable to shake his addiction, the court heard.
Mr Allan said he was “to some extent taken advantage of” in being asked to bring the drugs into Shetland.
The defence agent also acknowledged, however, that the quantities involved meant the “consequences were serious”.
He said his client was also “not unrealistic” about what he was facing.
Since his arrest, Mr Allan said Mclardy had not “simply given up on life” but had sought help for his addiction and impressed his employers.
A reference from his employer was presented to the sheriff.
Mr Allan said it clearly showed how well thought of he was.
While acknowledging a custodial sentence was an option for the sheriff, Mr Allan appealed for leniency.
Sheriff Cruickshank accepted Mclardy’s offending had been a consequence of his addiction and debt.
But given the “substantial quantities” of Class A drugs involved he said a custodial sentence was appropriate.
“There’s no other way of dealing with this offence,” he said.
Sheriff Cruickshank said he would have imposed a 33 month sentence but reduced it 22 months to take account of Mclardy’s early guilty plea.