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HMA v David Brown and Patrick Hattie


Jun 8, 2021

At the High Court in Glasgow today, Lord Summers sentenced David Brown and Patrick Hattie to periods of imprisonment after they were found guilty of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.


On sentencing, Lord Summers made the following statement in Court: “You have both been found guilty by the jury of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs. That being so I now require to fix an appropriate sentence. In assessing the appropriate level of sentence I must take a number of factors into account.

Having read the narrative in the Crown case against Lawrence Phee and having heard the evidence in your trial, I am satisfied that Mr Phee was primarily responsible for the movement of the drugs in this trial. I note that he is thought to have been involved in 15 shipments of drugs from Spain and that in addition to the present shipment he was considered to be involved in another shipment of drugs thought to be worth £750 000 with a street value in excess of that figure.

But in order to move the drugs inconspicuously he required the co-operation of others. You provided him with the help he needed.

Mr Brown had a hands-on role. He took delivery of the hire van used to move the drugs from Mr Hattie’s yard in Shotts to Cairnryan expecting to drive on to a destination in Ireland. Mr Brown was at the wheel of the van when he was apprehended at the ferry terminal. He had paid for the fuel and the fare for the boat. He exhibited a false delivery note. Mr Brown was far more than a simple courier.

Mr Hattie’s role was a facilitator. He arranged the carriage of the container which held the drugs from Manchester to Shotts. He made his business’s contract of motor vehicle insurance available to Mr Brown so that it could be exhibited to the van hire company. He permitted his yard to be used as the pickup point. He paid for the hire of the van.

In assessing an appropriate sentence, I also require to take account of the size of the supply. According to Mr Foy, the consignment was one of the largest seized in Scotland in recent years. He estimated the wholesale value of the cannabis resin as £507,000 with a maximum street value of £1.4m. He valued the cannabis in its various forms as worth about £92,400 with a street value of about £229,760. If sold in Ireland the drugs would command even higher prices. Four kilos of cocaine was also recovered and the street value is estimated at £160 000.

While you may not have known the exact value of these drugs, you both knew that you were involved in a major operation. This would have been evident to Mr Hattie from the size of the container he was asked to transport from Manchester to Shotts. Mr Brown saw the container with his own eyes in the early hours of 1 December 2018 and watched the container being lifted into the back of the van he had hired for the purpose of transporting the container to Ireland via Cairnryan. 

I take account of what your counsel have said in your defence. I am not persuaded that the fact that it was planned and executed in an amateurish way makes much difference to your guilt. I am more impressed by the way Mr Phee took advantage of you both and no doubt exploited your personal and financial vulnerabilities. I have taken this into account in determining sentence.

In fixing sentence, I consider I should discriminate between Mr Brown and Mr Hattie. Mr Brown had been previously employed as an inspector in the British Transport Police. The Criminal Justice and Social Enquiry report indicates he was awarded a long service and good conduct medal and a number of commendations. His career ended when he was convicted of fraud related offences in 2016. Mr Graham explained this morning that he had fraudulently claimed commission on policies of insurance. I accept these are non-analogous offences. I do consider however that his career in the Police and the knowledge that gave him of the harm caused by criminal offending, increases his responsibility.

Mr Hattie does not have a similar background. Although his criminal record is lengthier than Mr Brown’s the offences it discloses are of lesser gravity and are not analogous.

Lord Matthews decided that a sentence of 11 years was appropriate in the case of Mr Phee before reducing it to 8 1/2 years to take account of his plea. In this case both accused went to trial and no discount is available. I have used the sentence that Mr Phee would have otherwise received had he gone to trial as my point of reference.

I will sentence Mr Brown to a cumulo sentence of 6 ½ years in prison backdated to the date he was taken into custody, namely 20 April 2021. I will apportion one year of the sentence to the aggravation of involvement with serious organised crime. I will sentence Mr Hattie to a cumulo sentence of 5 ½ years’ imprisonment and will likewise apportion one year to the aggravation of connection to serious organised crime. This too will run from 20 April 2021.”

8 June 2021