South Scotland

Dumfries heroin gang member jailed for nine years

High Court in Edinburgh
Image caption Hennessy had previously been given a seven-year sentence for drug trafficking in April 2003

A gang member thought to have helped distribute heroin worth more than £600,000 in Dumfries has been jailed for nine years.

James Hennessy, 27, of Liverpool, admitted his role in supplying heroin between September 2009 and April 2010.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Hennessy collected cash and took it to drug bosses in Liverpool, who were controlling the operation.

He said he was trying to pay off a debt to the gang from a police raid in 2003.

Sentencing Hennessy, judge Lord Emslie told him that without the assistance of people like him, life would be much harder for others in the drug trade.

'Violent attacks'

Advocate depute Stephen O'Rourke, prosecuting, said the potential street value of the heroin supplied was between approximately £564,165 and £667,485.

"The accused was part of the chain of supply which was organised by others more senior in the chain and originating in Liverpool," added Mr O'Rourke.

The court also heard that Hennessy had previously been given a seven-year sentence for drug trafficking by Cardiff Crown Court in April 2003.

Defence QC Paul McBride said Hennessy had come out of prison to be told by drug bosses that he owed them £40,000 for the drugs and cash seized by police when Hennessy was arrested back in 2003.

"There were a number of violent attacks on the Hennessy family," said Mr McBride. "His father was badly beaten and suffered a brain haemorrhage."

Mr Hennessy Snr later took his own life, he added.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites