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Court / Man avoids prison after admitting heroin supply charge

Lerwick Sheriff Court
Lerwick Sheriff Court.

A FIFTY eight year old man who has “thrown away his life” due to drug addiction has been spared a jail term after admitting being concerned in the supply of heroin. 

Steven Priest, of Lerwick’s Nederdale, admitted a charge of supplying the class A substance at his home on 6 June last year. 

He also pleaded guilty to possessing class A drug cocaine and class C drug Pregabalin on the same date.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Sheriff Ian Cruickshank imposed an 18-month community payback order and a four-month restriction of liberty order requiring Priest to stay within his home from 7pm-7am every day. 

Defence agent Gregor Kelly told the court his client had “genuine remorse” both for becoming involved in supply and for squandering much of his life due to his own heroin addiction. 

He said the addiction was clearly the root cause of Priest’s criminality and that he would benefit from assistance in tackling his lifestyle problems. 

Priest’s most recent conviction had been eight years ago and his last conviction for supplying drugs was 12 years ago, Kelly said.

Last month the court heard that Priest had a “relatively limited” involvement in dealing but the 10.55 grams of diamorphine found by police, worth £520 when broken down, was “over that which could be inferred for personal use”. 

Sheriff Cruickshank said that while Priest did have a past record, he would refrain from imposing a custodial sentence. 

He imposed the restriction of liberty order by way of punishment having adjudged that Priest’s poor health would have made carrying out unpaid hours problematic.