Man hid drugs to take into the prison

By by Court Reporter newsdesk@newsiom.co.im Twitter: @iomnewspapers in Crime

A 34-year-old Douglas man has admitted he hid cannabis internally in an attempt to bring it into prison with him.

Ross James Patrick McWhinnie pleaded guilty to two counts of cannabis possession and one of introducing articles to the prison.

Prosecutor Marcus Benson told the court how, on January 23, McWhinnie was recalled to prison after breaching a release licence.

He had been jailed in 2011 for eight years and four months for being concerned in the production of £30,000 worth of cocaine to the island.

As part of his release conditions he was required to be drug tested by providing urine samples to probation but had failed a number of tests.

As McWhinnie was in prison reception being booked in he complained that he felt ill.

His condition was said to have rapidly deteriorated and he was subsequently taken to Noble’s Hospital.

Once there he admitted that he had hidden packages containing cannabis in his back passage.

He was kept in hospital and the following day McWhinnie produced three packages while going to the toilet.

Back at police headquarters he produced a prepared statement via his advocate saying that he had a heavy dependancy on subutex, valium and cannabis.

McWhinnie said in the statement that he was concerned that withdrawal symptoms once in prison would be ’horrific’, so he had tried to hide the cannabis to take into prison with him.

He also stated that it was only for personal use and that he was not going to share or sell any of it.

The total weight of the three cannabis packages concealed was 43.9 grams, said to have a street value of £295.

Defending McWhinnie in court advocate David Clegg said: ’This is a man who is using a great deal of drugs.

’He was struggling prior to going in prison. It was not for his own enjoyment. He was trying to combat withdrawal effects.

’Mr McWhinnie told doctors at Noble’s he had the packages concealed.

’He placed the items in evidence bags to assist them. He didn’t make it any more difficult than it had to be.’

Mr Clegg argued that the case should stay in summary court.

Deputy High Bailiff Jayne Hughes said that the scales were finely balanced as to whether the case should go to the higher court.

Mrs Hughes said: ’I believe they are tipped due to the quantity of cannabis and the fact that at the time of the offence you were subject to a prison sentence, imposed in September 2011, which doesn’t expire until July 2019.’

McWhinnie has been committed to the Court of General Gaol Delivery to appear on February 24 for sentencing.