View Full Version : Jury verdict after drugs trial

01-Nov-12, 15:54
Accused walks free after three days of evidence

A FAR NORTH man, who stole a drugs gang’s stash of cannabis resin, walked free from a court today after a jury found a charge of him having been involved in supplying it, not proven.
The jury returned a unanimous verdict on Robert Barnetson after only half-an-hour's deliberation.
It ended a three-day trial at Wick Sheriff Court which heard dramatic evidence from him, that he had discovered the eight bars of cannabis resin at an unnamed location, after overhearing a chance discussion. He succumbed to temptation and kept it for himself in a camper van he was ‘dossing in’ at West Yarrows Croft, near the hamlet of Thrumster. The croft was raided by police on October 14 last year who found the cannabis resin with a street value of £2,800, and cash totalling £2000.
Barnetson 41, a self-confessed cannabis user, said he would not normally have stolen anyone else’s stash of drugs but that the gang whose property it was deserved it, as they were “nasty drug dealers who specialise in ripping people off and terrorising them”.
The accused, who pleaded not guilty, also told the court that the gang had found out who had their property and had shopped him to the police, and had framed him. The gang had also paid him a visit and Barnetson told the court, that he was in “deep trouble” and had been threatened with consequences if he identified them in court.
Summing up, defence solicitor, John McGeechen, referred to a lack of evidence regarding the usual trappings of a person who was concerned in the supply of drugs. There was nothing, either written, or listed on the accused’s mobile phone, relating to user customers. There had, however, been evidence of Barnetson’s business dealings including buying and selling second hand cars, which were largely conducted in cash, all of which had been legitimate transactions.
The accused, who now lives at 29 Huddart Street, Wick, had an accountant, but, “unlike Al Capone”, had made income returns.
Mr McGeechen said that Barnetson had been greedy in keeping the drugs find and was only guilty of being “a little bit stupid” in not thinking through the potential consequences, after “pinching” it. His actions had left him with a drug debt that “might be enforced”.
“No drugs users in this area would want to find themselves in that situation” added the solicitor.