Feb 1 2013 by Colin Rutherford, Kilmarnock Standard
A man who agreed to deliver heroin to Kilmarnock after his family were threatened was last week jailed for 18 months.
James Osborne, 49, of Muslin Street, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of the class A drug in Witchhill Place last December.
Kilmarnock Sheriff Court was told that Osborne had previously beaten a heroin habit but had gone back to drugs after the death of his wife from cancer.
An agent for Osborne said that his client also had significant health problems and was prescribed six different heart drugs, as well as other medication.
The solicitor pointed out that Osborne had stayed out of trouble for some time and that a criminal justice social work report assessed the risk of him re-offending as “small”.
The offence had been committed after he ran up a drugs debt.
Said his lawyer: “This was not for direct reward, but to pay off a small debt and was achieved by threats, which he took seriously, directed not only at him, but at his children.”
At the time of his arrest Osborne told police that he was in fear for his life.
“He believed there was real danger to himself and to his family,” said the agent.
He asked Sheriff Iona McDonald to consider imposing a community payback order.
But the Sheriff told Osborne, who has a previous conviction for a similar offence: “If people don’t get involved in the drug chain, it can’t operate. Where people get involved , it is my view only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”