SIC - Orkney & Shetland valuation joint board

‘Social’ supplier spared prison sentence

A WOMAN from Lerwick who was involved in a “social supply” of amphetamine worth around £2,000 has narrowly avoided jail after being praised for “completely turning her life around”.

Sheriff Philip Mann told Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday that the case of Kayleigh Cassidy, of Hill Grind, had “exceptional circumstances” which meant he was convinced prison wasn’t the only appropriate sentence.

The 30 year old previously admitted to being concerned in the supply of the class B drug at her home address on 9 December last year.

Police had found just over 250 grams of the drug in a bag after searching her property.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie had told the court that Cassidy had been involved in a “social supply” of amphetamine to friends and acquaintances.

At the court on Thursday, defence agent Gregor Kelly said his client – along with a “small group of friends” – indulged in the drug after her partner, who was the father of her daughter, left her and ceased contact with the child.

The solicitor, who said Cassidy started to spend more time inside at home after the split, did not financially benefit from the dealing.

Kelly continued by saying that Cassidy had sought voluntary work following the offence in order to get a reference for employment, with the woman later securing an admin role off the back of it.

He added that one of the most “harrowing” moments for Cassidy was saying to her six year old daughter prior to Thursday’s court appearance that she might not be back for a while.

Kelly invited Sheriff Mann to take into account the circumstances of the offence and her conduct since and said there was a viable alternative to prison.

The solicitor added that Cassidy, who he said had no prior involvement in drug use, was deemed to be at the lowest risk of reoffending.

Sheriff Mann said it was “very seldom” that he wouldn’t send someone to prison for drug dealing.

“When you play with fire, there’s a very real risk you are going to get seriously burned,” he said.

The sheriff described the social work report prepared after her plea as “one of the best” he has ever seen and ruled that he could take a “leap of faith” on her by imposing a community payback order.

But he said it was “no way a signal that I have softened my stance” on drug dealing in Shetland.

Cassidy was placed under supervision for one year as an alternative to custody, while the sheriff also imposed a curfew on her for nine months.