WICK SHERIFF COURT: Cannabis by post was a favour for Scrabster man's old girlfriend
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A Royal Mail worker was suspicious about a package bound for an address in Austria said to contain an item of clothing.
It smelled of cannabis and he contacted the police who confirmed the contents as being a quantity of the Class B drug, Wick Sheriff Court was told on Wednesday.
The sender, Anthoney Carberry (71), admitted having been concerned in the supply of the drug on August 25, last year, and was fined £1000.
The court heard that the cannabis was intended for a former girlfriend.
Fiscal David Barclay said that the postal worker's suspicions were first aroused at the Thurso Co-op Store's Post Office, by the fact that the package was "remarkably light" for an item of clothing and then the giveaway smell was detected. The cannabis weighed 13.5 gm which would have commanded a street value of £150.
That figure for such a small quantity of the drug was a clear indication that the offence was not part of "a large scale operation" said Mr Barclay but one that suggested "a lack of sophistication".
Carberry, who doesn't use drugs, said that his actions were an obligement for "an old girlfriend" and added: "I just said I would send her some cannabis." He had purchased the drug for £100.
Sheriff Mark Lindsay QC said it wasn't necessary to consider a custodial sentence and he was minded to impose a financial penalty given that Carberry, of Rockwell Cottage, Scrabster, would not be able to undertake arduous unpaid work but had funds with which to pay a fine.
The sheriff described Carberry's good turn as "an error of judgment" but took into account that the accused was a first offender as well as the fact that he had tendered an early plea and had not charged for the cannabis.
Sheriff Lindsay declared: "This was not part of a large-scale drugs supply ring."