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HMA v Robert Ross and Edward Wilson


May 5, 2023

At the High Court in Glasgow today, Lord Matthews sentenced Robert Ross to 8 years in prison after the offender pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of drugs and directing others in the supply of drugs. Lord Matthews further sentenced Edward Wilson to 4 years' imprisonment for being concerned in the supply of of diamorphine.

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following remarks in court:

"Robert Ross you pleaded guilty to 3 charges. 

The first (charge 1) was a contravention of section 30(1)(A) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 in that between 29 September 2020 and 22 February 2022 you directed two people including Edward Wilson to be concerned in storing, preparing, transporting and supplying diamorphine.
The second (charge 6) was one of being concerned in the supply of cannabis between 16 October and 14 December 2021. The third (charge 8) was one of being concerned in the supply of cocaine.
Edward Wilson, you pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of diamorphine between 17 October 2021 and 22 February 2022. Each charge was aggravated by a connection with serious organised crime but I do not intend to add anything to the sentences in respect of that since the offences themselves implicitly involve that connection as it is defined in the Act.
The details of your involvement were set out in the agreed narrative, which I do not intend to rehearse.

Mr Ross, as far as charge 6 is concerned, there is nothing in the narrative to suggest that any amounts of cannabis were actually found, although it might be inferred that some transactions took place. In relation to charge 8 much the same can be said, your involvement with the supply of cocaine being in its infancy.
The most serious charges are 1 and 5. You Mr Ross directed others in the supply of diamorphine worth a considerable amount of money. A search of your home, Mr Wilson, on 22 February 2022 revealed nearly 4 kilos of diamorphine worth between about £90,000 and £337,247.
That was obviously a snapshot of what was involved.
The narrative indicated that you Mr Ross directed the movement of diamorphine worth around £360,000 during the period between 17 October 2021 and 22 February 2022.
However, there may be a risk of double counting if I simply added the two figures together to try to work out what the operation was worth and such an attempt would be little more than guesswork.
That goes for both of you.
In the circumstances I shall simply proceed on the basis that this was a major operation. You, Mr Ross, told the author of the report that it made a large amount of money in a short period of time but I have taken on board what was said by your counsel about that and I proceed on the basis of the narrative.
I have listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf and have had regard to the contents of the Criminal Justice Social Work Reports, subject to what I have just said, as well as your records.
So far as your records are concerned, the major problem for you Mr Ross is obviously your conviction in this court in November 2016 for being concerned in the supply of cannabis resin and amphetamine. You received a sentence of imprisonment for four years but here you are again.
You have also been in prison Mr Wilson for offences of violence and breaches of public order but these were many years ago and are of little significance in the context of this case, as is your only drugs conviction, possession of cannabis resin, which resulted in a fine in 2008.
Each of you tendered the pleas which were accepted by way of a letter in terms of section 76 of the 1995 Act. That is to your credit and I take it into account.
Mr Ross, I sentence you in cumulo, to imprisonment for 8 years  to run from 8 June 2022. Had the case gone to trial, the sentence would have been imprisonment for 12 years.
Mr Wilson, I sentence you to imprisonment for 4 years to run from 4 April 2023. Had the case gone to trial, the sentence would have been imprisonment for 6 years."