A SOLICITOR jailed for four years after being caught trying to smuggle phones and drugs into Saughton Prison was “heading for a fall for some time”, a long-time associate said today.
David Blair Wilson was found by police officers to have phones, diazepam tablets and other contraband items in his Vauxhall in the prison car park. His trial was shown dramatic CCTV footage of plain-clothes officers blocking any attempt by Blair Wilson to drive away, then leading him away in handcuffs.
The 55-year-old was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, and the Law Society of Scotland also announced he will be prosecuted by the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal in a bid to prevent him practicing law in future.
Blair Wilson’s associate, who asked not to be named, said that money problems and “chaotic relationships” had led the shamed lawyer to turn to smuggling and leave his 30-year career in tatters.
The associate said: “David had fallen on hard times. A few years ago he’d been working for a very reputable Edinburgh firm who gave him a chance, but he did the dirty on them and threw it away.
“He was known in criminal circles as someone who was closer to the underworld than a lawyer should be. He had a reputation for doing things other lawyers wouldn’t.
“He had a lot of friends high up in the legal world though, and basically he messed it all up because of his lifestyle.”
Evidence in the trial indicated detectives had been waiting to ambush Blair Wilson – but nothing was said during the trial about what, or who, had prompted their suspicions.
On October 6, 2011, the solicitor had arranged a professional visit with Lee Brown, 35, who was serving eighteen-and-a-half years for offences including attempted murder.
A search of Blair Wilson’s Vauxhall uncovered three mobile phones, diazepam tablets which could have been worth £2800 at inflated prison prices and cannabis resin with a prison value of £4000.
Blair Wilson’s associate said: “David fell in with a group of people from Livingston and that’s how he became involved in taking drugs into prison.
“But he was heading for a fall for some time.”
Passing sentence on Blair Wilson, of Edgar Street, Dunfermline, Judge Lord Jones said: “You knew that as a solicitor visiting a client in prison you were in a privileged position. You cynically abused the privilege and the trust placed in you.”
Philip Yelland, director of regulation at the Law Society of Scotland, said: “We will get official notice of the sentence from the authorities, which will allow us to raise a formal complaint which enables us to take a prosecution to the independent Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal.”
Blair Wilson was the solicitor for Colin Tucker, a fellow solicitor who was dramatically cleared of embezzlement – even though he confessed during his trial to taking more than £50,000 of clients’ money.
The trial sparked a break-in at the HQ of Lothian and Borders Police, dubbed “Fettesgate”, where a report into the so-called “magic circle” was stolen.