HMA v JAMES FARQUHAR & STEVEN STEWART

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Doherty sentenced James Farquhar and Steven Stewart each to 2 years 8 months imprisonment after they pled guilty to the supplying of cannabis resin on 9 October 2012.

17 September 2013

On sentencing Lord Doherty made the following statement in court:

“Mr Farquhar, you have pled guilty to being concerned in the supplying of cannabis resin, a class B drug, on 9 October 2012.  You took delivery from Mr Stewart of 90 kilograms of drugs. You opened premises where you worked and you facilitated the storage of the drugs there. They had a potential street value of £257,143.

Mr Stewart, you have also pled guilty to being concerned in the supplying of cannabis resin on 9 October 2012. Your role was that of a courier. You travelled to Liverpool from Whitburn where you collected the 90 kilograms of cannabis resin. You took it back to Whitburn where you delivered it for storage to Mr Farquhar.

I have regard to all that has been said on behalf of each of you. I do not regard the previous convictions of either of you as being of any significance for present purposes.  I take account of the fact that had another coaccused’s plea been finalised by the first preliminary hearing your pleas are likely to have been tendered and accepted then.  I give you credit for the utilitarian benefits arising from your pleas. However, in each of your cases I am in no doubt that the gravity of your offence makes imprisonment the only appropriate disposal. Those who act as couriers and custodiers of large quantities of drugs facilitate drugs supplying operations. The normal consequences of such conduct will be custodial sentences.

Mr Farquhar, had you not offered to plead guilty at the stage which you did the sentence which I would have imposed would have been 3 years 6 months imprisonment. In view of your plea the sentence which I impose is 2 years 8 months imprisonment.

Mr Stewart, had you not offered to plead guilty at the stage which you did the sentence which I would have imposed would have been 3 years 6 months imprisonment. In view of your plea the sentence which I impose is 2 years 8 months imprisonment.

Both those sentences will run from 16 August 2013.”