Man, 59, admitted drug possession

Bishop Street Courthouse.
Bishop Street Courthouse.

A Waterside man found in possession of drugs worth over £100,000, who described himself as “a trusting silly old codger”, was jailed for 40 months when he appeared before the Crown Court.

William Duncan (59), of Moore Street, formerly of Scotland, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and amphetamines with intent to supply on February 25 last year, and concealing criminal property, namely £3,400 in cash.

The court heard police searched a house in Moore Street and found three batches of cannabis weighing a total of four kilogrammes and bags of compressed powder (amphetamines), weighing three kilogrammes. The total value was estimated at between £110,000 and £150,000.

During the search Duncan and another man arrived and both were arrested.

At the police station Duncan told police he was holding the drugs for someone else and was not involved in supplying, and in interview he named two men but neither has been charged.

He claimed he was under threat from them.

The court heard that Duncan has convictions in the Isle of Man and a drugs conviction in 2010 in France for which he received a three year jail sentence.

Imposing penalty Judge Philip Babington said it was difficult to understand how Duncan became caught up in this, but his description of himself as a trusting silly old codger did not ring true. He said in his reports Duncan had shown a lack of regard for the impact illegal drugs had on people and communities.

The judge continued: “This is a very serious offence involving a significant amount of illegal drugs.

“It is quite clear the defendant was, willingly or unwillingly, a party of a drugs gang. This offending is such that it can only attract an immediate custodial sentence.”