Drug dealer caught half-naked at industrial estate

McQuade was caught at Mitchelston Industrial Estate.
McQuade was caught at Mitchelston Industrial Estate.

Police found a female drugs dealer half-naked and holding a large bag of heroin when they entered a Fife industrial unit.

Frances McQuade, 47, from Kirkcaldy, was seen trying to conceal the drugs when officers went into the unit late at night.

They had detained McQuade’s partner moments before outside the unit. On the seventh day of a sheriff and jury trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, McQuade, of Dunnikier Road, admitted that on February 23 at CM Maintenance, Unit 71, Mitchelston Industrial Estate, Kirkcaldy and elsewhere, she was concerned in the supply of diamorphine.

Not guilty pleas to other charges she faced were accepted. Sheriff Charles MacNair called for reports and McQuade was remanded in custody. She will be sentenced January 3.

McQuade had earlier told the court that she was involved in starting a maintenance and repair business from the unit with her boyfriend.

She claimed she had “panicked” when police entered the premises that night.

She said when she went to the unit there were bags of drugs lying on the floor but she had no idea how they had got there.

She claimed she was angry that the drugs were there as she was a former heroin addict and it was a temptation.

However, despite being upset she admitted she had used some of the heroin before the police arrived.

The trial heard evidence that police found McQuade “in a state of undress” when they went into the office.

Defence solicitor Peter Robertson asked McQuade why she had her trousers and underwear pulled down and was holding a bag of heroin.

“I thought ‘I’m going to get the blame for all this’. I was in a state of alarm and panic. I started to pick things up and throw them about.

“I stuck some of it down the side of my shoe. My dog was jumping about and I was worried the dog would bite into the drugs.”

Mr Robertson said, “The suggestion was that you were going to put the drugs in your person.”

McQuade replied, “No. On my person not in my person. There was no way I could have hid all that. It was pure stupid to try but it was sheer panic.”