Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Livingston man convicted of drug trafficking

High Court in Livingston Image copyright Google
Image caption Thompson was convicted at the High Court in Livingston

A 59-year-old man has been convicted of trafficking illegal drugs with a street value of more than £500,000.

George Thompson was convicted of supplying cocaine and amphetamine between 18 July and 21 November 2014.

A jury found him guilty of two charges at the High Court in Livingston.

Judge Lord Ballantyne told greyhound breeder Thompson, of Livingston, he would be remanded in custody until sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh in July.

Thompson's son Stuart, 36, from Uphall, West Lothian, walked free from court on Wednesday after being acquitted of the same charges after the judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to convict him.

Thompson senior had denied handling and dealing in the Class A and Class B drugs at various locations in the central belt and the Scottish Borders between 18 July and 21 November 2014.

The jury heard he had been under surveillance by Police Scotland's serious crime and counter terrorism squad for months

Officers watched as he made contact with three men who were stopped in possession of controlled drugs shortly after they met him. All three associates were later prosecuted and convicted of drugs offences.

Police also monitored Thompson as he made daily visits to West Cairns Farm at Kirknewton, where Alexander Cameron was killed by his tenant James Smith.

'Heavily involved'

Smith's wife Helen had reported suspicious late-night movements at the farm which resulted in the major police drugs investigation focusing on Thompson.

Police stopped his white Transit van on the A7 near Heriot in the Borders on 20 November 2014 and found half a kilo of cocaine hidden in a compartment above the driver's seat.

A search of the accused's home uncovered two bags containing amphetamine in his freezer drawers.

A search of the farm uncovered three kilos of high purity cocaine and a kilo of amphetamine, commonly known as 'speed', in kennels used by Thompson.

It emerged after Thompson's conviction that he had previously served a three-month prison sentence for being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.

Det Ch Inspector Kenny Gray from the East Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit said: "There is no doubt that George Thompson was heavily involved in the distribution of drugs throughout the Lothians and Scottish Borders, given the significant quantity of Class A drugs we seized from vehicles and properties linked to him.

"The cocaine was of a very high-purity and we are delighted to have recovered it before it could cause untold harm to our communities.

"Tackling drug crime is a priority for Police Scotland and we robustly gather and investigate all intelligence from the public relating to those involved in offences of this nature.

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