Isle of Man News - POSTED Sat 12-03-2011

Drug dealers handed long prison sentences

by Manx Radio

Drug dealers handed long prison sentences

Two men who attempted to import just under £50,000 worth of heroin into the Isle of Man have been given jail sentences totalling over 20 years by Deemster Montgomerie.

Bernard Leavey, aged 38 and care of the Island's prison, was sentenced to a total of 13 years behind bars.

He admitted being involved in the importation of heroin and cocaine, possessing those drugs with intent to supply, and intimidating a witness.

Neil Veidman, aged 39 and from Liverpool, admitted importing heroin and cocaine, and possession with intent to supply, and was jailed for a total of nine years.

Both men were arrested at 7.30am on January 5 last year, not long after Veidman had driven off the boat.

Lynda Watt, prosecuting, said the total weight of the heroin was 491 grammes and it had a street value of £49,100. The cocaine weighed 3.70 grammes and was worth £245.

The court heard the witness intimidation charge followed an incident in a cell in Douglas courthouse, where Leavey was seen to headbutt Viedman. He alleged Leavey had called him 'a grass'.

Leavey's advocate said he had been involved in the drug culture since his teens and saw the drug offences as a way of making a quick bit of cash. He was very remorseful and sorry and it was accepted he had a very poor record regarding drugs.

Viedman's Gerry Carter said his client had brought the drugs to the Island out of fear rather than profit, because he had been threatened.

Reports showed Viedman to be a vulnerable young man, with no history of drug abuse. The court heard he was highly thought of by his employers and his place would be kept open for him on his release from prison.

A five year exclusion order was placed on Viedman.

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