Mum tells court her drug-dealing son should be sent to prison

The mother of a convicted heroin dealer attended his sentencing hearing to say he should have been sent to prison.

Alexander Chalmers, 33, had been ordered to comply with a community payback order as an alternative to a custodial disposal.

But after walking free from Lerwick Sheriff Court this morning, his despairing mother interjected to tell the court: “This isn’t going to work.

“You should have sent him to prison.”

Chalmers from Gott in Tingwall, pleaded guilty to being involved in the supply of heroin at court last month.

During that appearance, the court heard how police officers had searched the accused shortly after 3pm on 12th May last year in Lovers Loan, Lerwick.

They found two mobile phones, a wrap of heroin and further bags of the drug as well as cash.

A total of 7.5g of heroin was recovered, along with £1,698.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said analysis of the phones revealed “drug-related talk” dating back over the preceding week.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank adjourned the hearing for the preparation of reports.

At today’s hearing, defence agent Tommy Allan said the report was “positive”.

While acknowledging there had been problems to begin with, Mr Allan said his client “seems to have turned that around”.

Mr Allan said Chalmers was attending weekly meetings with his social worker who had noted a “clear change in his presentation”.

The solicitor raised the possibility of unpaid work for his client.

He said Chalmers was at a “fork in the road” and if he was lucky enough to avoid a custodial sentence he would be in the “last chance saloon”.

Mr Allan said Chalmers needed to get back into employment and suggested unpaid work would help him take that step.

Sheriff Cruickshank said he had taken into account the facts and circumstances of the case, including the quantities of the drug involved, and would be making Chalmers subject to a community payback order.

He said Chalmers must comply with a 15-month supervision order and carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within a year.

“Given the nature of the offence the order is imposed as an alternative to a custodial disposal,” Sheriff Cruikshank said..

Mr MacKenzie had previously made a motion for the forfeiture of the drugs and phones and said he would submit a separate statement of information for the cash to be made subject to the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The forfeiture matter will be dealt with in six weeks’ time.


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