A PENSIONER who had been hired to bury a stash of heroin at an Edinburgh beauty spot has escaped a jail term.
George Sneddon collected a package containing the Class A drug in the west of the city before heading towards Blackford Hill to hide the bags of brown powder.
But on his way to bury the drugs the 67-year-old was pulled over by police who subsequently discovered the heroin hidden in a jar in the vehicle’s footwell.
The OAP, of Whitson Road, Edinburgh, told officers he was “in fear of his life” if he spoke to them but eventually admitted his involvement in the drug deal.
Sneddon pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin to others at Glenlockhart Road, Edinburgh, on May 22 last year when he appeared at the city’s sheriff court last month.
And he returned or sentencing on Thursday.
Sheriff Thomas Welsh QC told the drug dealing pensioner he was satisfied there was an alternative to custody but warned Sneddon that “if there is any breach of the order I will impose a custodial sentence”.
Sheriff Welsh sentenced Sneddon to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and placed him on a restriction of liberty order meaning he must stay within his home between 7pm and 7am for the next nine months.
Previously prosecutor Sophie Hanlon said police officers “had cause to stop a vehicle at the Chesser area” of the capital at around 6.55pm on May 22 last year.
Ms Hanlon said: “The accused Sneddon was cautioned at that time and [he] said ‘there is stuff in the front of the motor - someone gave it to me to deliver and I was getting a £100 to do it’.
“The police then seized a bag containing a jar with wraps of a brown substance within in the footwell of the vehicle.
“Sneddon was interviewed and at first gave no comment as he was in fear of his life but he then provided some information.
“He indicated he was delivering the bag with the jar and he was being paid to do so. He was unaware of the contents.
“He had been instructed to take the bag to the Blackford area and bury it.”
The fiscal told the court the substance was subsequently analysed and was found to be heroin in £10 bags and was worth a total of £4750.
Defending brief Nigel Beaumont said his client had been told the illicit package contained cannabis and not heroin.
The lawyer added Sneddon was “quite vulnerable” due to his age and that he had “very limited” involvement in the transport of the drugs”.
Mr Beaumont said: “Mr Sneddon was led to understand this was cannabis and he thought it was cannabis.
“His job was to meet a person at Stenhouse Cross and take the bag to the Blackford Hill area where he was to wait on further instructions.”
Sneddon admitted to being concerned in the supply of diamorphine to others at Glenlockhart Road, Edinburgh, on May 22 last year.