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Young lives 'blighted by drugs' - judge

Defendant told to learn from 'catastrophic error'

An Island judge says he is extremely concerned by the number of young people whose lives are being blighted by drug dealers.

Deemster Alistair Montgomerie was speaking as he sentenced a 21 year-old Douglas man for bringing more than £5,500 worth of drugs to the Island.

Glen Batty of Castlemona Avenue, who was arrested at the Sea Terminal on April the second, was told he was the latest ‘vulnerable’ young person who had attempted or been pressured into acting as a courier.

And the Deemster urged police and other authorities to bring dealers to justice, insisting it was the only way to reduce the number of drugs on the Island.

Batty’s advocate described him as a young man who took a risk when he was offered £500 to bring the drugs to the Island – an amount which seemed ‘too good to be true’ for someone living in a bedsit and earning £50 a week.

Officers found three packages of white powder when Batty’s bag was searched and Deemster Montgomerie said it was very clear from his actions that the defendant was genuinely remorseful, and had proved cannon fodder for drug dealers.

Deemster Montgomerie told Batty he deserved considerable credit for pleading guilty at the first opportunity and for asking to be sentenced without the need for a social inquiry report - something which kept the public expense to a bare minimum.

However, he failed to name his suppliers, something the court heard would have made a big difference to the sentence imposed.

Deemster Montgomerie said it was no surprise, as most people in that position were reluctant to say anything that could get back to the supplier.

‘I’ve seen a succession of young people losing a lot of their youth by acting as couriers or offering to mind drugs,’ he told the court.

‘As far as dealers are concerned, they know couriers are mainly expendable and would not grass to the police.’

He urged Batty to learn from his catastrophic error, remain positive in prison, receive as much education as possible and spend the rest of his life outside prison.

Batty admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and production of the drugs to the Island for which he was each jailed for five years, as well as three months for possessing morphine sulphate.

The sentences will run concurrently.

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