HMA v ANTHONY JOHN SMITH & PAUL JOSEPH SMITH

At the High Court in Aberdeen Lord Uist imposed custodial sentences on Anthony and Paul Smith after they pled guilty to supplying heroin.

On sentencing Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

“You each pleaded guilty, after your trial had begun, to having been concerned in the supplying of heroin, albeit during different periods.

This is yet another case involving the notorious chain of heroin supply from Liverpool to this part of Scotland. On this occasion there was the added feature of supplying the drugs to Shetland. Heroin is a dangerous drug which can result in damage to, and sometimes destruction of, the lives of those who are foolish enough to take it. This court has on many occasions warned of the consequences for heroin dealers when brought to justice. If the sentences which have so far been imposed on those operating the heroin supply chain between Liverpool and the north east of Scotland have not been effective then they will have to increase and continue to increase until they have the necessary deterrent effect and wipe out this evil trade altogether. Criminals from Liverpool who are concerned in the supplying of heroin or any other class A drug in this area must come to realise that the game is not worth the candle.

So far as you ANTHONY JOHN SMITH are concerned, your plea of guilty covers the period between 13 January and 22 February 2011 and covers your involvement in  sending approximately 3 ounces of heroin, with a maximum street value of £7890, to Lerwick by post. You are now almost 31 years old. You have a criminal record consisting of 14 separate court appearances. In August 1999 you were sentenced to 21 days detention for possession of a controlled drug. In March 2000 you were sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for being concerned in the supplying of heroin and cocaine. In September 2003 you were sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for possession of a controlled drug. You, with your background in controlled drugs, must have been well aware of the risk you were running when you became involved in sending this package. In light of your criminal record and the circumstances of this case I consider the appropriate sentence for you to be 6 years imprisonment. I must take into account the period which you spent on remand, which amounts to the equivalent of 5 months imprisonment. The sentence which I impose on you is therefore 5 years 7 months imprisonment, to run from 9 March 2012.

So far as you, PAUL JOSEPH SMITH, are concerned, your plea of guilty covers the periods between, first, 19 and 21 October 2010 and, secondly, between 19 and 22 February 2011 and covers your involvement in sending two consignments of heroin, with a maximum street value of £19,770, to Lerwick. You are now 27 years old. You have a criminal record, but it is not as bad as that of your brother: You have two convictions for possession of a controlled drug, resulting in non-custodial sentences, and your only custodial sentence consists of 8 weeks imprisonment imposed at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court in June 2010. Nevertheless, it is clear from what I have been told that you were much more involved than your brother in the seeking to sell heroin in Lerwick. In your case also, therefore, I consider the appropriate sentence to be 6 years imprisonment. I must take into account the period which you have spent on remand, amounting to the equivalent of approximately 10 months imprisonment. The sentence which I impose on you is therefore 5 years 2 months imprisonment, to run from 9 March 2012”.