Edinburgh heroin dealer, Mark Renton, given jail sentence

Heroin dealer Mark Renton appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
Heroin dealer Mark Renton appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

AN EDINBURGH drug trafficker who was caught with hundreds of pounds worth of heroin was jailed for six years today.

Mark Renton was found to have been in possession of heroin with a street value of £620.

Acting on intelligence that he may be involved in the drug trafficking trade, police approached Mr Renton at West Pilton Lea on 15 April, but the 37-year-old attempted to cycle away. A wad of cash and a phone was found on his person.

Renton admitted he had been earning around £250 a day selling drugs but claimed he was trying to help a woman pay off debts and gain access to her children.

A judge told Renton at the High Court in Edinburgh: “In my considered view you present a substantial danger to public safety.”

Lord Pentland said it was no exaggeration to state that Rention had “a dreadful record of offending,” and that it was clear the accused had little respect for the law and was unable or unwilling to control his behaviour.

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He told him: “You have been given numerous opportunities to address your drug addiction.”

Renton earlier admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin between 1 March and 15 April this year at West Pilton Lea, in Edinburgh, and elsewhere in the city after being freed on two bail orders from the city’s sheriff court.

Lord Pentland pointed out that it was his fourth conviction for trafficking in the Class A drug. He told Renton that if he had been convicted of the offence after trial he would have jailed him for nine years.

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Advocate depute Martin Richardson said that officers on patrol had seen Renton out on a bike on 15 April at West Pilton Lea and were made aware of intelligence that suggested he may be involved in drug supply.

As they got out of their vehicle he started to cycle off but was pursued and detained. During further searches at addresses linked to him drug dealer’s tick lists were found.

Defence counsel Gail Gianni pointed out that all Renton’s drug supply offending involved comparatively small amounts of drugs.

But Lord Pentland earlier said: “It is not unusual for experienced drug traffickers to be found in possession of small quantities of drugs, for obvious reasons.”

The court heard that Renton, a prisoner in Saughton, had been assessed as posing a high risk of further offending unless he could break a cycle of drug addiction.