HMA v PAUL JOSEPH MCINTYRE, ISAAC MCCALLUM MCKINNON, DAVID HUGHES, SCOTT MICHAEL GARDNER

At the High Court in Livingston Lord Boyd sentenced Paul McIntyre, Isaac McCallum McKinnon, David Hughes and Scott Gardner after they pled guilty to offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

On sentencing Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:

“The trafficking in class A drugs is a vile and evil trade. Drug, and particularly heroin abuse, brings misery to individuals, to families and to communities where drugs are rife. You were all involved in the supply of drugs from Liverpool to Scotland. No doubt these drugs would have been sold on the streets of Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland feeding addictions and helping to create more addicts to fuel the trade. Three of you have accepted in your pleas that the offences were linked to serious organised crime. Drugs are the wellspring of much other crime.

That you have been caught is down to excellent police work, and the police officers who have been involved in this investigation predominantly in Lothian and Borders and Dumfries and Galloway but also both south of the border, are to be commended for interrupting this trade and bringing you to justice.

In determining the sentences I am about to pass I have had regard to the Sentencing Guidelines issued by the Sentencing Council for England and Wales. 

Paul McIntyre

On 1st February 2010 you were convicted at the High Court in Edinburgh of being concerned in the supply of drugs for which you were sentenced to 45 months imprisonment. It is always hoped that after such punishment the offender might turn away from crime but if not at least prison affords the community a respite from their criminal activities. It is a matter of great concern that in your case prison was no barrier to further offending. You were the controlling influence in the commission of these offences directing operations from your cell.

You have pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of both heroin and cocaine bringing it up from Liverpool to Edinburgh. There were three separate supplies arranged by you and David Hughes with three separate couriers. The total weight of diamorphine involved was 3.2kg with a potential value of over £300,000. The weight of cocaine was 2.5 kg with a potential value of £100,000. In my judgement the values though significant are less important than the number of street deals this quantity of drugs represents.

I accept that you may not have been directly controlling the drugs in that you did not have them in your possession and that you did not control money. Nevertheless you played the leading role controlling the couriers.

Given your role in this operation and the fact that these offences were committed while you were in prison serving a sentence for an analogous offence had the matter gone to trial I would have sentenced you on charge 1 to 12 years in prison, one year of which I would have attributed to the connection with serious organised crime. As you pleaded guilty at a continued preliminary diet I am prepared to discount the sentence to one of 9 years 6 months.

On charge 2 I sentence you to 6 years 6 months discounted from 8 years for the early plea.

These sentences will run concurrently and be backdated to 17th October 2012. 

Isaac McKinnon

You pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of diamorphine on one occasion. However the amount involved, nearly 1.2 kg is not insignificant and it appears that you were the person facilitating the transaction.

Given the history of your involvement in this case, your failure to appear for either the preliminary hearing or the trial diet, your failure to instruct agents and counsel necessitating an adjournment and your failure to enter a plea until yesterday I do not think it appropriate to exercise my discretion and discount the sentence.

Having regard to your record I sentence you to 5 years 8 months, having made an allowance of 4 months in respect of the time you spent in custody before being admitted to bail. In your case I accept that you played a lesser role so I will attribute 6 months of that sentence to the connection to serious organised crime. The sentence will commence from today’s date.

David Hughes

You appear to have been very much Paul McIntyre’s partner in this whole enterprise, albeit the junior partner. Your role is a significant one. You were the point man on the outside. You had direct contact with the couriers. Your DNA is found on the packages. You allowed your house to be uses in a significant way. All the paraphernalia for a drugs operation is found in your house including a press, mould plates, bulking agent, surgical gloves, parcel tape, mobile phones and SIM cards. It appears that you were the centre of this operation in Liverpool.

I take into account the fact that your record is less serious than Mr McIntyre. Although you have three minor convictions for possession of controlled drugs there are no analogous convictions. I also note that your last conviction was in 2008 and there is a significant period of ten years during which you stayed out of trouble.

On charge 1 if the matter had proceeded to trial I would have sentenced you to 10 years in prison, one year of which is attributable to the connection with serious organised crime. As you entered a plea at a continued preliminary diet I shall discount the sentence to one of 8 years in prison.

On charge 2 the sentence is one 5 years 6 months discounted from 7 years for the early plea.

These sentences will run concurrently and backdated to 17th October 2012.


Scott Gardner

Your involvement in this matter is more limited. However you were prepared to receive and then pass on 1.7 kg of diamorphine with a potential value of over £170,000. You have a previous conviction in the High Court for being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs for which you were sentenced to 54 months in prison albeit that it was in 2005.

It is particularly tragic for you and your family that you have not been able to stay way from this criminal activity. You appear to have had a good job, a partner and a settled family lifestyle. Nevertheless you involved yourself in this matter

So far as a discount for an early plea is concerned discounts are a matter of discretion. In your case you accepted your guilt only on Wednesday of this week – a very late stage indeed. It might be said that in those circumstances you should not benefit from discount. Nevertheless I am prepared to acknowledge a small utilitarian advantage in your plea even at that late stage.

Had it not been for the plea I would have sentenced you to 5 years 6 months but I will discount the sentence to one of 5 years in prison backdated to 16th January 2013.”