As well as dealing cannabis, former chef Michael Edward Gilbraith was ‘conning’ drug users by taking their money after ‘offering’ to supply class A drugs MDMA, which he never had, and LSD which was ‘dried out’ and useless, the Royal Court heard.
He recruited his 22-year-old nephew, Dylan Jacob Rawlinson, to help with the criminal operation, which, the court heard, was generating money for Gilbraith to pay back a drugs debt.
The cannabis user of ten years, who has cared for his disabled mother since 2009 after she was severely injured by a drink-driver, turned to dealing after falling into debt with his own dealer.
Gilbraith (30) claims his house was burgled and the majority of the drugs stolen as well as £1,400 cash, leaving him unable to pay back the hundreds of pounds he owed.
Both Gilbraith and Rawlinson pleaded guilty to one count of making an offer to supply MDMA, one count of making an offer to supply LSD and one count of being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
Gilbraith also admitted charges of possessing cannabis and possessing the drug with intent to supply, possessing the class B drug tramadol, and two counts of offering to supply LSD.
Gilbraith was sentenced to 180 hours’ community service – instead of 12 months in jail, which the Crown had moved for. Rawlinson was given a 150-hour community order.
Outlining the case, Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit said undercover States police officers arrested Gilbraith in Parade Gardens while other officers raided his home on 25 August last year. Just less than 70g of cannabis was recovered and four tramadol tablets.
The defendant’s mobile phone was also seized. On the device, officers found numerous messages between Gilbraith and Rawlinson which showed them arranging deals to supply MDMA and LSD. It was agreed that neither defendant actually had MDMA and the LSD tabs were ‘dud’ because they had ‘dried out’.
Advocate Maletroit said: ‘The defendants were conning their associates – obtaining money for the purchase of drugs they never had.’
Advocate Sue Pearmain, defending Gilbraith, said that in 2009 her client, who has no previous convictions, gave up work to look after his mother, who was one of three women who was seriously injured by a drink-driver on 24 April 2009. The then 23-year-old driver, who was twice over the limit, was jailed for two years and nine months.
Advocate Jeremy Heywood, defending Rawlinson, said the court ‘can have confidence in Mr Rawlinson’s assurance that this is the first and last time he will trouble the criminal justice system.
‘He promises this court will never see him again.’
Delivering the court’s sentence, Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith said: ‘We think the conclusions of the Crown are correct in this case. But every court has a degree of mercy and in this case the circumstances of his [Gilbraith’s] family and his role in it are such that we are going to impose the equivalent, a community service order.’
Jurats Paul Nicole and Geoffrey Grime were sitting.