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Court / Prison term for drugs offences

Lerwick Sheriff Court
Lerwick Sheriff Court.

A FORTY four year old man from Lerwick who was involved in the supply of class A drugs has been sent to prison.

Richard Johnson, of the town’s Burgh Road, previously admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin on 17 June last year, which if broken down into the smallest sellable amounts had a potential total street value of around £14,000.

He was sentenced to 20 months in prison when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

The court previously heard that police had received intelligence regarding a suspect package from a delivery company in Glasgow.

They attended a Lerwick depot at Greenhead Base and after the drugs dog identified the parcel in question officers asked the company to set it aside while a warrant for seizure was obtained.

Meantime Johnson contacted the depot to enquire about the parcel’s whereabouts.

The parcel contained a pressure washer and accessories, and when it was taken to the police station and dismantled significant quantities of cocaine and heroin were discovered.

The court had heard that nearly 54 grams of cocaine and just over 130 grams of diamorphine were found.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told the court at an earlier hearing that it was not simply a case of Johnson allowing his address to be used to receive the class A substances: “This was commodity that he was going to be selling on to others.”

Johnson appeared at court on Wednesday following the preparation of a social work report and defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had been “remarkably open” about the offence.

He said Johnson turned to drugs when faced with redundancy and the struggles of the pandemic, using it as a way to earn money and also support his own use.

Allan said the social work report was “as good a one as could be for someone facing these charges” added that Johnson had tried to press ahead with his life since the offence.

Sheriff Cruickshank told Johnson that the offences “were clearly committed with a view to your own financial gain”.

He accepted what was put forward in mitigation, but ruled that the “custody threshold has been crossed”.

The sheriff said there was no alternative to custody and gave Johnson 16 months for his cocaine charge and 20 months for the heroin offence, which will run concurrently.


Space2face Shetland

Space2face Shetland is an independent and confidential service which uses Restorative Justice and the arts to bring those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication. We enable everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

If you would like to reach out to us, please contact us via e-mail info@space2face.org or mobile 07564 832467.

If you would like to know more, visit our website www.space2face.org, or our Facebook page #space2faceshetland.

The project is also currently fundraising to secure office space in Shetland’s brand-new creativity and wellness centre, The Mission. If you’re interesting in getting involved, or making a donation, head over to www.space2face.org/how-you-can-help