Man jailed for killing tortoise sentenced for drug smuggling

David O'Toole was caught with a suitcase packed full of cannabis worth around �150,000. Picture: PA
David O'Toole was caught with a suitcase packed full of cannabis worth around �150,000. Picture: PA

A thug who was jailed last year after allowing his dog to savage his girlfriend’s tortoise has been put behind bars again for attempting to smuggle drugs through Edinburgh Airport.

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David O’Toole was caught with a suitcase packed full of cannabis worth around £150,000 as he travelled back to the Capital from a trip to Spain.

O’Toole, from Birkenhead, was found to have around 15 kilos of the drug stuffed into in a purple suitcase before he attempted to get past airport security.

The 30-year-old drug addict initially claimed he had no idea what was in his luggage but Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard he had agreed to fly to Barcelona and bring the dope haul back to Scotland to “repay a drug debt”.

O’Toole had previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supplying cannabis at Edinburgh Airport and was jailed for 30 months at the capital court on Wednesday.

The drug dealer was also caged for 20 weeks at Wirral Magistrates Court last May after admitting to setting his dog on his partner’s pet tortoise during a sickening incident the previous year.

The twisted lout then sent former-lover Lucy McDonald sick videos of the attack where the injured animal was left covered in blood and had chunks of its shell missing.

During yesterday’s sentencing, Sheriff Kenneth Maciver told O’Toole: “Drugs are a social evil and in your case a custodial sentence is inevitable.”

The court previously heard O’Toole was stopped by UK Border Control officers on April 2 last year and bags of “organic matter” were found in his luggage.

Fiscal depute Naomi Warner said the drug dealer had confirmed to customs staff he had packed his bags himself but after the dope was uncovered he denied the bag was his.

Officers subsequently found 29 vacuum-packed bags packed full of cannabis and the court heard if sold in street deals the drug haul could have yielded a profit of £155,000.

Ms Warner added O’Toole had told border control officers he had met a man in Barcelona and that “he had been set up and did not know cannabis was in the suitcase”.

Solicitor Kenny McFarlane, defending, said his unemployed client had suffered from a “severe cocaine issue for a number of years” and had carried out the Spanish drug trip to “effectively repay a drug debt”.

Mr McFarlane added his client had been handed the suitcase packed with drugs by an unknown man in Barcelona and O’Toole had been “given the suitcase” but did not know what it contained.

The court was also told O’Toole was suffering from “depression after his girlfriend had left him” last year and that he had “turned to alcohol and drugs” as a result.

Sheriff Kenneth Maciver added: “You have pled guilty to a serious crime, the introduction of high value drugs, namely cannabis, through customs at Edinburgh Airport.

“You had a difficulty with drugs and a [drug] debt and there was no way of paying the debt. There was an issue with threats also.”

O’Toole pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis at Edinburgh International Airport on April 2, 2016.

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