At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff Cubie sentenced Gary Rodgers to 6 months in prison after he pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of the class A drug ecstasy in Govanhill, Glasgow.

29 May 2014

On sentencing Sheriff Cubie made the following statement in court:

“I extend the sympathy of the court to the family of Mr Tomlie.  

From the plea tendered and the report, it is clear that you suffer remorse and have been deeply affected by the death of your friend.

Although the police interview was a 'no comment' interview, you have since cooperated with the prosecuting authorities and the matter was resolved by way of a plea of guilty as libelled. It is accepted that the other persons mentioned were willing participants in the taking of the ecstasy.

The report suggests a reasonably determined attempt by you to take steps to address your personal issues; it reflects purpose in your future plans, to cut ties with the people and the area where you took drugs.

Your record of previous convictions is limited and largely historical; you have never served a sentence of imprisonment.

Set against that, the charges are serious, involving the supply and the intention to supply the class A drug ecstasy. Although attempts are occasionally made to minimise ecstasy in comparison with other class A drugs, it is and remains so categorised within the most concerning group of illicit drugs.

The High Court of Justiciary has described the supplying of class A drugs as an 'evil practice' in view of the risks faced by the ultimate users.

I recognise that there was no personal profit, but as a willing link in a chain of supply of class A drugs you have shown a complicity and engagement with that evil trade. And drugs, any drugs, are corrosive and dangerous as this case so tragically highlights.  Mr Clark, addressing me on your behalf, rightly described the drugs trade as a 'vile lottery'.

I recognise that the Crown are not relying on any causal link to the death, but the trade itself, the atmosphere surrounding it and the uncertain provenance of every single drug traded illegally, pose risk. This case highlights the potential consequence of an unregulated, unscrupulous illegal market where providers have no concern about safety, only profit. You were part of that network, peddling not glamour nor escape, but risk and danger.

Sentencing has been described a synthesis of different considerations including deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation and public condemnation. In this case, despite the steps taken on your behalf and the recommendation of a community based disposal, I consider that the elements of retribution and deterrence and public condemnation outweigh other factors.

I conclude that this case can only be dealt with by way of a custodial sentence. You will go to prison for a cumulo period of six months, reduced from nine months, to reflect the fact that the plea of guilty was tendered at the continued first calling.”

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