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Court / Fife man escapes prison sentence for drugs supply offence

A MAN from Fife who admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs by taking heroin on the boat north to Shetland has avoided a prison term.

Thomas McKenna, of Lumphinnans, was instead placed under a community payback order when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old previously admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin at the NorthLink ferry terminal in Lerwick on 28 September last year.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard last month how a retired police officer became suspicious of Thomas McKenna’s behaviour on board the ferry from Lerwick and Aberdeen last year.

Travelling on the same ferry north the following day and being monitored by police, McKenna was stopped and searched after arriving in Lerwick.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie previously said that three bags with 68 grams of the class A drug were found within a flask of soup.

Mackenzie said that broken down to the smallest quantity the drugs had a potential street value of more than £4,500.

Speaking at the court on Wednesday following the preparation of a criminal justice social work report, defence agent Tommy Allan said his client developed an addiction to crack cocaine during the Covid pandemic.

This resulted him losing his family, friends, relationship and employment, and being surrounded by “drug associates”, the court heard.

Allan said McKenna accepted full responsibility for the offence and had already made moves to turn his life around.

He said he has since regained contact with some of his family, has employment lined up and is also interested in helping others not to fall into addiction.

Allan said it was a “relatively small amount” of class A drugs involved and that the offence period was only one day.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank noted that McKenna was in “turmoil” at the time.

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But he said that “that in itself does not excuse your attempt to distribute drugs into the islands here”.

However, given the quantity of drugs and McKenna’s background he was persuaded not to send him to custody.

Instead the man was placed under supervision for 18 months and was given 200 hours of unpaid work to complete.

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