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Court / Community payback orders for drugs offences

Lerwick Sheriff Court
Lerwick Sheriff Court.

TWO people who were involved in the supply of class A drugs have received substantial community payback orders.

Louisa Newlands, of Tingwall, and John Masterman, of Mossbank, were both sentenced at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Newlands previously admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin on or between 1 March and 18 August 2020, while Masterman had pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin on 18 August.

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The offences came to light after Newlands drove into the path of an oncoming police vehicle on the Tingwall straight in poor visibility after picking up an envelope containing a quantity of heroin which had Masterman’s name and address on it.

She previously admitted a dangerous driving charge, which took place on the A970 on 18 August.

Defence Liam McAllister said Newlands had “made the most catastrophic decision of her adult life” by getting involved in receiving heroin.

“The role that she played is a limited one…there’s no suggestion she profited financially.”

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McAllister said Newlands had a history of drug misuse and had been “preyed upon” because she had a driving licence.

Since the offence she has turned her life around, the court heard, and she was accepting of her responsibility in the offences.

McAllister said a social work report showed there was an alternative to custody.

Masterman’s defence agent Paul Barnett said his client had become involved in using cannabis after suffering a wrist injury which saw him signed off work.

He said the pair had met and became friends, and the court heard that she asked if Masterman could take postal delivery of drugs at his house.

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But on the day in question he assumed the drugs in the package would be cannabis, not heroin.

Barnett noted that not removing the name and address from the package showed “naivety” and suggested Masterman was “completely out of his depth”.

He said police searched his house and found nothing to suggest his involvement was anything more.

Barnett also said that social work reports suggested his client was suitable for a community payback order.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said being concerned in the supply of class A drugs was a concern for communities across Scotland.

The sheriff said he had to issue punishments based on sentencing principles.

He commented that Newlands was “caught in the talons of a dealer who has preyed on her”.

Sheriff Cruickshank said after taking everything into account he had decided to place Newlands under supervision for two and a half years, while he gave her 300 hours of unpaid work to complete.

She was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and fined £600 for the driving offence.

Masterman was placed under supervision for 18 months and given 250 hours of unpaid work.

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