HMA v IAN DONALDSON

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 19 August 2014, Lord Uist sentenced Ian Donaldson to six years’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to having been concerned in the supplying of heroin.

On sentencing, Lord Uist made the following statement in court: 

“Ian Donaldson, you have pleaded guilty to having been concerned in the supplying of heroin at Balfour Street, Edinburgh between 23 and 30 May this year. The total amount of heroin recovered in your flat was 148.86 gm with a maximum retail value of £14,900. A tick list, scales with traces of heroin on them, a tea spoon and quantities of cash totalling £3,870 were also found, indicating drug supplying on a commercial basis.   

You are now 47 years old. Your schedule of previous convictions discloses 16 court appearances for a total of 31 offences between January 1985 and April 2011. You have been sentenced to custody on 11 occasions. You have two previous convictions for heroin trafficking: on 24 January 2003 you were sentenced to 3 years imprisonment at Edinburgh High Court and on 23 March 2009 you were sentenced to 4 years imprisonment at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, which was later reduced on appeal to 3 years imprisonment. You are therefore subject to a minimum sentence of 7 years imprisonment for this offence. It is clear that the sentences which have previously been imposed on you for heroin trafficking have not had the necessary deterrent effect and that the time has now come for a seriously deterrent sentence to be imposed on you to prevent you engaging again in this despicable trade.  

Had you been convicted by a jury after trial I would have imposed a sentence of 9 years imprisonment. As you have pleaded guilty at an early stage that sentence will be discounted to 6 years imprisonment, to run from 2 June 2014.”