Half-naked heroin dealer jailed
A Fife woman has been jailed for four years and four months for being involved in a heroin dealing operation in Kirkcaldy.
Police found Frances McQuade half-naked and holding a large bag of heroin when they entered an industrial unit.
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.
Last month, 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, Mitchelston Industrial Estate, Kirkcaldy and elsewhere, she was concerned in the supply of diamorphine.
Sheriff Charles MacNair called for reports and McQuade was remanded in custody. She has now been jailed for 52 months with the sentence backdated to December 6.
McQuade had claimed in court that she was involved in starting a maintenance and repair business from the unit with her boyfriend.
She said 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 also 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 had 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.”