SIC - Orkney & Shetland valuation joint board

Hefty fine for hiding drugs

A MAN from Lerwick who put cannabis resin in his mouth in a “panic” and struggled with police after officers entered his house to search the property has been fined £1,000.

Matthew Smith, of Stanegarth, admitted at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday to intentionally obstructing two police constables at his home on 15 August by placing the drug in his mouth, attempting to swallow it and refusing to spit it out before struggling with the constables.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said there was no answer at the 32 year old’s address when police knocked on the door.

After they forced entry he was repeatedly asked to spit out the drugs, the fiscal said, and was eventually restrained before removing them from his mouth.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the police search might have been in relation to someone else who his client had offered his address to for bail purposes.

He said the drugs in question was only worth around £4 and that Smith – who had previous problems with substances but had seen his offending tail off recently – panicked when the police entered.

Sheriff Philip Mann noted that Smith had a previous conviction for dealing drugs from 2011 which led to a stint behind bars.

But he said he was prepared to give him an “opportunity to stay in the community”, warning Smith that if he failed to pay up then he would be sent to prison.