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Coke dealer gets three years in jail

A FORMER soldier from Merseyside who admitted dealing high quality cocaine worth more than £33,000 in Shetland has been sent to jail for over three years.

James Campbell, of 42c Seabank Road, New Brighton, Wallasey, previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of almost 100 grams of the Class A drug.

The dealing took place at an address in Hamnavoe, Burra as well as Lerwick’s Lower Blackhill industrial estate and elsewhere between 1 February and 12 June last year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told the court previously that the 97.29g found on Campbell were “exceptionally” pure at 61.5 per cent, almost five times as unadulterated as cocaine usually bought and sold in Shetland, which measures 13 per cent.

The 30 year old also previously admitted obstructing and struggling violently with police officers when they tried to arrest him on 12 June at Lower Blackhill and committing the offence while on bail.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Mackenzie said Campbell had arranged for drug parcels to be sent to unwitting friends for them to sign on his behalf. This was corroborated by mobile phone evidence, he said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client – who had been employed as a scaffolder at Sullom Voe Oil Terminal – admitted the dealing happened on more than one occasion, but was adamant that he was just a “courier”.

He added that Campbell had “lost his way” since serving in the army – a job in which he suffered injury and saw “comrades” die.

There was also an element of “self-medication” with alcohol, Allan said.

Sheriff Philip Mann said he wasn’t sure if it was appropriate for Campbell to label himself as “just a courier”.

“No matter how minimal your involvement, it still facilitates the supply of drugs,” he said.

Sheriff Mann added that while Campbell should be “proud” of his service to his country, it is “not an excuse to get involved in this terrible trade”.

He gave the man from Merseyside a total of three years and six months in jail.