Judge calls class-A drugs trade ‘vile and evil’

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A JUDGE has condemned the “vile” trade in class-A substances as he jailed four men involved in the large-scale distribution of drugs across the UK.

Paul McIntyre, David Hughes, Scott Gardner and Isaac MacKinnon received sentences ranging from five years to over nine years for their role in the supply of drugs from Liverpool to Scotland.

The quartet was snared in a wider police operation which recovered drugs worth almost £850,000 and led to a number of other arrests, officers said.

McIntyre, the “controlling influence” in the group, directed operations from his cell while serving an earlier sentence for drug offences.

At the High Court in Livingston yesterday, the 28-year-old was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison.

Hughes, 48, was jailed for eight years. Gardner, 29, was ordered to spend five years behind bars and 34-year-old MacKinnon was sentenced to five years and eight months, officials said.

McIntyre, Gardner and MacKinnon, all from Edinburgh, and Hughes, from Liverpool, earlier pled guilty to offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Passing sentence, judge Lord Boyd said: “The trafficking in class-A drugs is a vile and evil trade. Drug, and particularly heroin, abuse brings misery to individuals, to families and to communities where drugs are rife.

“You were all involved in the supply of drugs from Liverpool to Scotland.

“No doubt these drugs would have been sold on the streets of Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland, feeding addictions and helping to create more addicts to fuel the trade.”