HMA v THOMAS FRANCIS McALEAVEY

At the Sheriff Court in Shetland Sheriff Napier sentenced Thomas McAleavey to 43 months in prison after he pled guilty to being concerned in the supply a class A drug on the 27 May 2010.

On sentencing Sheriff Napier made the following statement in court.

“This is yet another case involving a Merseyside drugs courier caught importing a significant quantity of diamorphine (in this case £5000 in pre-prepared deals) into Shetland with a view to someone making a profit out of the abject misery occasioned by addiction to this harmful substance which still seems to provide an allure for many of the young people (that is those who survive) who pass their lives in what to an outside observer seems a grossly unsatisfying way. Some of those customers past, present and future will be in court today and if I ever needed a reminder that I should continue to mark society’s disapproval of this trade, the regular appearance of these past and current addicts, even the recurring ones, provides that.

I have considered the social background report prepared whilst you were on remand and everything said on your behalf by your agent. Taking into account the background, including that it appears that there may be a background of harassment  associated with you having previously stolen a quantity of drugs, rather than you acting as a directly paid courier; taking into account the decisions of the High Court in the cases of HMA v Dempsey and HMA v Gardiner; taking into account the approach of this court to such cases approved of by the Appeal Court in cases such as HMA v Ruby in which a not dissimilar quantity of drugs with a Liverpool connection were imported into Shetland and a starting point of 6 years was approved; taking account also of your limited record (even though it included 3 previous custodial disposals) I consider that I should restrict the starting point for sentence to one of four and a half  years. I will then discount that to 43 months back dated to 20 April 2011”.

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