HMA v EDMOND REID

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 30 January 2015, Lady Wolffe sentenced Edmond Reid to three years imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to drugs offences.

On sentencing, Lady Wolffe made the following statement in court: 

“Edmond George Reid, you have pled guilty to a charge of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug, namely, Diamorphine,  and a further charge of being concerned in the supply of a Class B drug, namely, Cannabis, contrary to section 4(3)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. 

As a consequence of surveillance over a period in spring of 2013, you were found to be concerned in a drug supplying operation. This was shown by reason of the contact you had with persons known to be involved in the supply of drugs in the Edinburgh area, and by reason of the supplier-quantity of drugs found in your possession and control. In particular, the amount of Diamorphine found in your possession had a maximum potential street value of about £45,000. The amount of Cannabis found in your possession had a maximum potential street value of about £11,000. 

You have an extensive record of previous convictions disclosing a wide variety of offending. These include convictions for road traffic offences, theft and breaking into motor vehicles and some crimes of violence. It is concerning to note that you already have two previous convictions for Misuse of Drugs under the 1971 Act, although only one of these was for a Class A Controlled Drugs. You have previously served periods of imprisonment. 

I have had regard to the Criminal Justice Social Work Report. It notes that you had difficulties in your childhood, and have the extensive record of offending I have already referred to. You appear to deny being involved in the supply of drugs, as you assert to the author of the report that you were simply holding these drugs for a short period of time to settle a debt. That report also notes that you are the principal carer for your mother. You have had fairly extensive periods of unemployment. Latterly, you have become involved in football training with a local football club. The report assesses you as being on the high end of a medium risk of re-offending. I have had regard to a letter of support produced from the local football club where you were assisting with coaching. 

I have had regard to all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation. In particular,  the hard features of your upbringing and unfortunate family circumstances; the fact that you have now ended you prior addiction to cocaine; that you are the carer for your mother and that you wish to be a better father to your two children. You wish to improve your literacy skills. 

However, the abuse of drugs is a ruinous blight on the lives of many in modern society. You have been involved in a serious and sustained way, and were found to be in possession of controlled drugs with an overall street value of about £56,000. This is a very serious matter indeed. It was accepted on your behalf, correctly, that a custodial sentence was inevitable. 

I am satisfied that the seriousness of this conduct must be reflected in a substantial custodial sentence. I accept that you tendered a plea at the earliest point in the procedure concerning you. 

While you have pled guilty to two charges, I am of the view that to impose separate sentences on both might be productive of a longer sentence than the conduct would warrant, given that it is part of a continuing course of conduct. 

Had I imposed separate sentences, I would have imposed a custodial sentence of five years and two- and-one-half years, respectively, on charges 6 and 7. However, the cumulo sentence I impose is one of 36 months. But for the plea, I would have imposed a sentence of 54 months. 

This will be backdated to the date on which you were taken into custody on 5 January 2015; and will also take into account the period in custody in relation to this matter from 24 May to 18 October 2013.”