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Former Moray man jailed for 18 months

By Ali Morrison

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A former Forres resident was jailed for 18 months earlier today for smuggling cannabis.

Inverness Sheriff Court
Inverness Sheriff Court

Mohamed Ahmed of Ladies Walk, Inverness, was a passenger in a car stopped by police on the A9 near Balavil on July 29 last year.

Inside the vehicle was £50,000 worth of cannabis.

Ahmed had previously pleaded guilty along with his co-accused Patrick Boyland, of Dell Road, Inverness, to being concerned in the supply of drugs.

Both men appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court today to be sentenced.

Ahmed had also previously pleaded guilty to separate charges including maliciously breaking the windows of a relative's home in Stuart Street, Forres with a rock on November 12 last year.

In addition, he admitted a breach of bail and threatening or abusive racist behaviour towards police after being arrested.

Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood Eastwood said: "He made threats to shoot an officer and that he would get the Taliban to bomb their police station.

"He repeatedly banged his head on the walls of a police van, calling one officer ‘a white boy’ and a ‘white bxxxxxx’.

"He threatened to slit their throats and get his Muslim brothers to conduct a Jihad against the police and bomb a police station.

"Officers believed he was under the influence of drugs."

Ahmed's defence solicitor, Robert Cruickshank said: "He has been abusing cannabis from a young age and it has had an impact on his mental health.

"He is the son of a local businessman and the family remain supportive of him. But they are not blind to the criminality their son has done.

"Regarding the Forres incident, he was heavily intoxicated."

Ahmed's sentence was backdated to October 22 when he was remanded in custody.

Boyland, who was sentenced to 15 months for his part in the drug smuggling operation, told the court he had been trying to raise cash for a sight-saving operation for his young son.

The 37-year was stopped in a different car to Ahmed several weeks later at Tomatin on the A9.

Police officers found £16,500 of cannabis inside the second vehicle.

Before passing sentence, Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said: "You have my sympathies regarding your son's health issues.

"But not withstanding the motivation, this is a sizeable quantity and it is not acceptable to be involved in the supply of cannabis."

The court heard Boyland's removal business had been doing well until Covid struck and he got involved to try raise £50,000 for his son's treatment.

Defence solicitor Shahid Latif described it as "an act of desperation" by his client.

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