HMA v ALEXANDER DONNELLY

At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced Alexander Donnelly to 9 years imprisonment after he pled guilty to directing serious organised crime.

On sentencing Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:

04 April 2014

“The trafficking of drugs is a vile and evil trade but it is one which you have followed for many years. You have two convictions in the High Court under the Misuse of Drugs Act. In 1996 you were sentenced to 54 months imprisonment and in 2006 you were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. That sentence does not expire until October 2016. Yet within 6 weeks of your release on supervision you were back in the old business. You have now pled guilty to a charge under section 30 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 directing serious organised crime.

You directed others in the supply of 2 kg of diamorphine with a value of over £200,000. Mr Jackson said that the value of the drugs which were supplied under your direction was not as great as some values we see in these courts. That may be but it represented 21,000 street deals and a lot of misery for individuals, families and communities. You further organised, directed and controlled the purchase and supply of controlled drugs and the transfer of criminal property in the form of £22,970 of money.

The Crown has served a Statement of Information on you under the Proceeds of Crime Act seeking confiscation of assets. I direct you to lodge Answers within 6 weeks of today’s date and I will allow 6 weeks for adjustment. I will fix a procedural hearing of 23rd June 2014 at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The Crown has also moved that you be subject to a financial reporting order under s.76 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. I am satisfied that there is sufficiently a high risk of you committing another offence mentioned in section 77(3) of the Act to justify the making of such an order. The terms of that order will be given to you. However the order will last for a period of 10 years from today’s date. You will be required to make a report to the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland every 6 months during that period commencing on 4th October 2014. The first report will contain details of all money, property and assets in which you have an interest together with relevant documentation. Thereafter each report will include details of any income, bank and building society accounts; bonds, shares unit trusts and pensions and other investments; details of all items of expenditure over £500; details of mortgages, loans or overdrafts, credit and store cards and details of any involvement by you in any commercial company or venture.

I listened carefully to what Mr Jackson said on your behalf. Given the rapidity with which you returned to your old trade I do not accept that you had any intention on your release other than returning to criminality. I do accept that later, after you committed these offences, you did qualify yourself for working offshore. That is to your credit. I note your wish to work offshore on your release. I have no doubt too that you would prefer to be with your family including your grandchild.

However those who play a leading role in the drugs trade as you have done must expect to serve long sentences of imprisonment. The maximum sentence that I can impose under the Act is 14 years imprisonment.

I first have to consider whether or not to impose an order under s. 16 of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 returning you to prison to serve the unexpired portion of your present sentence. Given the fact that you returned to offending so soon after your release, I have concluded that I would be failing in my duty if I did not make such an order. However given the sentence I am about to impose I will restrict the order to one of 1 years imprisonment.

For this offence you will go to prison for 9 years. I accept that your plea avoided a long trial. Had it not been for that plea the sentence would have been one of 12 years imprisonment. The sentence will be consecutive to the one year’s imprisonment in respect of the section 16 order.

There is still a substantial unexpired portion of present sentence. Accordingly I do not intend to backdate the sentences. They will commence from today’s date.”