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Dingwall pensioner jailed for nine months after stepping in as drugs courier to 'protect his family'

By Ali Morrison

James Kerr (70) transported drugs on behalf of his daughter.
James Kerr (70) transported drugs on behalf of his daughter.

A COURT in Inverness has heard how a dad stepped in to stop his daughter having to act as a courier for drug dealers.

James Kerr (70) was stopped by police in Longman Road, Inverness, on June 28, 2018.

A search of his Land Rover Discovery resulted in a quantity of cocaine being found.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard the class A drug had a purity of 78 per cent.

While the Crown had argued it was worth potentially £68,000 it was agreed when Kerr appeared for sentencing this week that the maximum street value was in fact £21,000.

Kerr, of Deas Avenue, Dingwall, admitted possession with intent to supply.

Defence solicitor Shahid Latif told the court Kerr's daughter had been in a relationship with an individual "for whom drugs unfortunately were a disproportionate feature of his everyday life".

This individual went on to take their own life, after which Kerr's daughter was told by dealers that his drug debt was now her responsibility and she could pay it off by couriering for them.

When she confided in her father he told her he would do the job for her instead.

Kerr did it to protect his family, Mr Latif told Sheriff David Sutherland.

"He was aware of the position he was in," he added, referring to a police interview where Kerr refused to name others involved in the offence.

"He could not name the individuals. His motivation was to protect his family.

"It was a decision by a parent to protect his child."

Sheriff Sutherland sentenced Kerr to nine months imprisonment.

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