Dads jailed for deal­ing drugs

The Oban Times - - FRONT PAGE - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­

TWO mid­dle-aged fa­thers from Oban were jailed this week for deal­ing drugs worth more than £1,600.

Many who knew the men as neigh­bours and friends have called the crime un­be­liev­able, as they were not high pro­file drug users but fam­ily men who held down jobs and were part of the wider com­mu­nity.

Iain MacEwan, an HGV driver from Oban, pled guilty to col­lect­ing drugs in a car park in Bowl­ing, near Glas­gow, be­fore drop­ping the ‘pack­age’ in Oban. He was sent to prison for eight months on Tues­day morn­ing.

Co-ac­cused Lawrie Camp­bell, 52, was sen­tenced to seven months for hav­ing am­phet­a­mines in his pos­ses­sion with the in­tent to sup­ply oth­ers.

The men ap­peared in Oban Sher­iff Court on Tues­day.

Fa­ther of three MacEwan, 44, of Pin­macher, Polvin­ster Road, worked for Oban Ex­press, and had been an HGV driver for 23 years when po­lice were alerted by an eye­wit­ness who saw him pull into Lit­tlemill Court in Bowl­ing.

The eye­wit­ness be­lieved she had seen an il­le­gal trans­ac­tion and con­tacted the po­lice. MacEwan was then wit­nessed by of­fi­cers who saw him ar­rive in Oban.

He drove to Glen­gal­lan Road where co-ac­cused Camp­bell, of 7 Jura Road, Soroba, handed over a plas­tic bag.

The bag con­tained al­most one kilo­gram of am­phet­a­mine. Camp­bell ad­mit­ted pay­ing £ 800 for half the drugs while the other half would be sold on.

MacEwan was sacked by Oban Ex­press on Mon­day. His so­lic­i­tor, Kevin McGin­ness, said MacEwan knew his be­hav­iour was reck­less and stupid.

He also claimed MacEwan did not know what was in the pack­age and hadn’t asked the man from whom he picked up the pack­age.

Sher­iff Ruth An­der­son QC said she didn’t be­lieve his ev­i­dence. She said; ‘A man of your age is sent to pick up a pack­age in Glas­gow and you don’t ask what it is. You are just do­ing some­one a favour.’

Dur­ing the sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, Camp­bell’s de­fence agent, said he was mak­ing ‘progress’ in giv­ing up a 15-year ad­dic­tion to am­phet­a­mines.

Camp­bell lived with his wife and daugh­ter, and he claimed they had no idea about his ad- dic­tion or his sell­ing of am­phet­a­mines. His place of work wrote to the sher­iff to say that while they did not know about the drug use in the first place, they had no­ticed an im­prove­ment in the store­man’s work.

Sher­iff An­der­son said the two men had failed to prove their be­hav­iour had changed be­cause they would not tell po­lice the names of the peo­ple who sup­plied the drugs to them.

The sher­iff added: ‘I have thought very care­fully about this mat­ter. Al­beit the court has heard about the lack of knowl­edge of the drugs in pos­ses­sion, you both col­luded to bring drugs into Oban. You abused your po­si­tion to do so.

‘ You both put il­le­gal drugs into the sup­ply chain.’

As they were led from the dock, the fam­i­lies of both men, who were in court, wept.

Af­ter the trial, a for­mer neigh­bour of one of the men said it was ‘ab­so­lutely un­be­liev­able’. The man, who did not want to be named, said: ‘These were men we knew and worked with.

‘They held down long-term jobs and to all in­tents and pur­poses were good fam­ily men. But in­stead they were sup­ply­ing dan­ger­ous drugs into the com­mu­nity.’

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