Dealer is jailed for six months
AN OBAN man has been sentenced to six months in prison for dealing crack cocaine.
James Hendry, 35, of 1 Hill Street, Oban, pleaded not guilty to a charge of supplying crack cocaine and a second charge of supplying diamorphine to a woman at the rear of Shuna Terrace, Soroba, on October 20, 2016.
PC Paul MacMillan, the first witness called by procurator fiscal Eoin McGinty, told Oban Sheriff Court on Wednesday March 29 that he was on plainclothes patrol with DC Alisdair Dewar at 9.30pm that night when he saw the woman waiting outside Shuna Terrace with a mobile telephone.
Citing ‘significant intelligence’, PC MacMillan said: ‘We both formed the opinion she was in the area to source drugs.
‘I heard her say, “James, is that you?” I then saw a male meet [her] outside number 22.’
Mr McGinty asked: ‘Who was it?’
‘James Hendry,’ PC MacMillan said.
‘He took something out of his pocket and gave it to [her]. I took it that James Hendry was supplying [her] with drugs.
‘ We detained her. Before being asked, she said she had some crack on her, which she produced.’
During a search at Oban police office, the court heard, she said: ‘I got this off James Hendry.’
The court was then told a wrap of crack cocaine, weighing 1.3g, was found in her jacket pocket, and two 1g wraps of brown powder, identified as diamorphine, were found in her bra.
Giving evidence, the woman said: ‘I went to Shuna Terrace to see James. James Hendry.’
‘Which did you get from James?’ asked Mr McGinty. ‘The crack,’ she replied. ‘But not the heroin?’ he asked.
‘No,’ she said. ‘I do not remember where I got the heroin. I know that James Hendry was effectively asking me to carry drugs on his behalf.’
A third witness, DC Alisdair Dewar, confirmed £640 in cash was found on Hendry in his wallet, for which Hendry gave officers no explanation.
Mr McGinty said a search also found a set of weighing scales. ‘The items found at his home address are indicative of someone concerned in the supply of drugs,’ he summed up.
Defence agent Eamonn McGeehan pointed to the witness’s ‘radically different’ account of the exchange in her statement. ‘Your ladyship had to be satisfied that Paul MacMillan saw what he said he saw,’ he said. ‘ We have two very different versions of the transaction.’
Sheriff Ruth Anderson QC said: ‘The fact there are these discrepancies adds to the reliability of the police officer.’
Addressing Hendry, Sheriff Anderson said: ‘I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of your guilt to charge one, and I convict you.’
Mr McGeehan said: ‘A community payback order would allow the drug problem to be addressed.’
Sheriff Anderson sentenced Hendry to six months’ imprisonment, and ordered the forfeit of the £ 640.