A LOCAL man who attempted to smuggle heroin worth more than £30,000 to Shetland through the post by concealing the class A drugs in chocolate boxes and a spice jar has been jailed for almost four years.
Andrew Flaws appeared for sentencing at Lerwick Sheriff Court via video link from Grampian prison on Wednesday morning.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank described the offence as an “audacious attempt to source and supply a large amount of heroin” to the community. It had been foiled by drug detection dogs.
The 38-year-old had previously admitted of being concerned in the supply of diamorphine to others between 8 April and 1 July last year.
The offence related to three packages sent to Shetland in the post. The first was intercepted at the Lerwick mail delivery office April, with the other two following in May and June.
The court heard that the first package was addressed to an associate of the accused.
It was a Milk Tray chocolate box – sent by special delivery – which contained 25 bags of heroin placed in the holes where the confectionary would have been.
Almost 500 grams of heroin was seized in total with a value of £30,490 if broken down into their smallest sellable amounts.
Sentencing Flaws to three years and 10 months in prison, Sheriff Cruickshank described it as a “commercial enterprise with detailed planning”.
The court previously heard that the figures presented to the court only represented what was actually recovered.
Speaking in mitigation, defence solicitor Tommy Allan said his client accepted responsibility and felt that of many bad decisions he had made in his life getting involved in drugs dealing was one of the worst.
He asked the court to consider that the drug dealing took place in the middle of the Covid pandemic which had left his client in a particularly “bad place”, adding that the amounts of money mentioned in court did not reflect in Flaws’ lifestyle.
Flaws was taken into custody on 11 February this year, and Allan said that the time in prison so far had given his client “a new lease of life”.
Sheriff Cruickshank backdated the jail sentence to 11 February and ordered the forfeiture of any items seized by police.
Space2face Shetland is an independent and confidential service which uses Restorative Justice and the arts to bring those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication. We enable everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.
The project is also currently fundraising to secure office space in Shetland’s brand-new creativity and wellness centre, The Mission. If you’re interesting in getting involved, or making a donation, head over to www.space2face.org/how-you-can-help