Prison for heroin user who hid £400 worth of drug in his body

A drug user found with £400 worth of heroin hidden in his body, was jailed for two years and four months at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Thirty-five-year-old Colin Valentine, described as a prisoner in Edinburgh, appeared from custody on indictment and admitted having diamorphine with intent to supply, at Galashiels Police Station on July 13. During a body search, 14gms of heroin was found hidden internally. Valentine said the illegal drug was for him and his girlfriend.

The accused also admitted having a knife in Chay Blyth Place, Hawick, on April 19, and, on a separate summary complaint, behaving in an abusive manner in the town’s Laidlaw Terrace on the same date.

Procurator fiscal Morag McLintock told how police on mobile patrol had cause to stop a vehicle at around 2.20pm, on July 13.

“The accused and another person were inside, and he was detained and searched.

“During a body search, a bag of brown substance was removed from his anus, found to be 14gms of heroin, valued at £400,” added Ms McLintock.

Valentine claimed it was for him and his girlfriend and he had no intention of selling on the illegal drug, but accepted that by passing it on to his girl- friend he was involved in supply.

Sheriff Graeme Warner jailed Valentine for two years for the offence, and sentenced him to four months, to run concurrent for having a knife.

Ms McLintcok said police attended at Chay Blyth Place and found Valentine nearby.

“They also found a white-handled kitchen knife, which he initially said wasn’t his, but a fingerprint examination proved differently,” explained Ms McLintock.

A Crown motion for forfeiture of the knife was granted.

On a summary complaint, Valentine, whose address was given as Trinity Street, admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive manner at a house in Laidlaw Terrace.

He received a consecutive jail sentence of four months – a total prison term of 28 months.

Ms McLintock told how Valentine was banging on the door in the early hours of the morning, and when he was refused entry and told to go away, he retorted: “Let me in, or I’m going to plug holes in you.”

When police arrived, he was inside the flat, asleep in one of the bedrooms.

Valentine’s solicitor conceded her client had “a lengthy schedule of analogous convictions” and that custody was almost inevitable.

She suggested Valentine may benefit from a DTTO (Drug Treatment and Testing Order) assessment.

“After his release from his last sentence, he has made efforts to reduce his drug dependency,” she said.

“He has stabilized his drug use for six months and that is the longest period he has been at liberty for 16 years,” said the solicitor.

The agent said Valentine planned to move from Hawick to Galashiels to “remove himself from his ex-partner and other drug-using associates”.

Sheriff Warner commented: “I quite accept that the best chance of someone overcoming a problem with drugs is on a DTTO, with intense specialist help.

“I think it is overambitious to think that it is an appropriate disposal here,” he continued.

“He was on licence for a similar offence when he committed this, and I would be interested to know how an unemployed person comes about £400 to buy heroin,” he added.