HMA v Nathan Cook

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 19 January 2016, Lord Uist sentenced Nathan Cook to nine-and-a-half years’ imprisonment after the accused was convicted of being concerned in the supply of heroin.

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

“Nathan Nesta Cook, on 22 March 2014 you were apprehended by police officers on the northbound carriageway of the M74, after a chase of about 33 miles, driving a Volkswagen Polo car containing approximately 18.5 kilos of heroin of 62-64% purity with a maximum street value of almost £8 million.

This was on any view a colossal quantity of a dangerous drug of very high purity and value.

The public should be grateful to the police officers who decided to stop your car and so prevented this consignment of drugs getting onto the streets in Scotland.

You lived in High Wycombe at the material time and were obviously transporting the drugs to Scotland.

The damage that these drugs would have done to both individuals and the community as a whole had they got onto the streets is incalculable.

You are now 28 years old. You have minor convictions which I ignore for present purposes and have never previously been sentenced to custody. I have considered the criminal justice social work report on you and all that has been said by your counsel in mitigation.

Nevertheless, as has been said many times before, couriers are an essential link in the chain of drug dealing and drugs would not get onto the streets without them.

You must have known the high risk that you were taking when you undertook to transport these drugs and you must now face the reckoning, which has to be severe in this case.

Having regard to the quantity, purity and value of the drugs the appropriate sentence is 10 years imprisonment but that must be reduced to nine years six months imprisonment to take account of the two periods which you have already spent in custody. That sentence will run from today’s date.”