Cunningsburgh man admits involvement in ‘social supply’ of heroin

A 49-year-old man has admitted to being concerned in the “social supply” of heroin to a small group of fellow drug users.

Ralph Halcrow pleaded guilty the offence at Lerwick Sheriff Court yesterday (Thursday).

The court heard how officers carried out a search of Halcrow’s address in Brind, Cunningsburgh, on 11th October 2022.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said there was “clear evidence of drug abuse at the address”.

Items seized included £935 in cash, a “tenner bag” containing a small quantity of heroin and a larger wrap containing 27.31g of the Class A drug.

Mr MacKenzie said the larger package would have been an “ounce deal” valued at £700-£900 – but it could have realised as much as £1,820 if broken down into the smallest street deals.

The fiscal said Halcrow was a known heroin user at the time of the offence and it was accepted that some of the drugs seized would have been for his personal use.

“It is also accepted that the supply here is what would colloquially be described as a social supply for a small group of four peers he has known for a considerable number of years,” he added.

“The money would have been to help recoup the outlay.”

Mr MacKenzie made a motion for the forfeiture of several seized items, which Sheriff Ian Cruickshank granted.

Sheriff Cruickshank adjourned the hearing for the preparation of criminal justice social work reports and restriction of liberty assessments. 

Halcrow will return to the court for sentencing on 3rd July.

The case had been set for a jury trial on Monday having been listed as a solemn matter due to Halcrow’s previous convictions, the last of which was 10 years ago.

Mr MacKenzie said the lengthy delay since the first committal hearing, in January last year, had been due to the reassignment of jury trials to Aberdeen.

Once matters were returned to Lerwick, Mr MacKenzie said matters had been able to progress “quite rapidly”.


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