Edinburgh crime: Callous cannabis dealer moved into vulnerable man’s home and turned flat into drugs den

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Leith man targeted by drug dealer

A callous cannabis dealer exploited “a particularly vulnerable” man by moving into his home and turning the flat into a drug den.

Nisala Kulatunga, 22, targeted the man by befriending him and then setting up a cannabis dealing business from the flat in the Leith area of Edinburgh. The desperate victim repeatedly asked Kulatunga to move out but the dealer refused and carried on selling drugs from the property between June and October 2022.

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The flat was eventually raided by police and when around £15,000 of the Class B drug was found inside, the Sri Lankan national attempted to pin blame on the homeowner. 

Kulatunga pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis at an address in Leith, Edinburgh, between June 1 and October 2, 2022, when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month He also admitted a second charge of possessing the drug at the capital’s Swanfield on October 24, 2022.

Prosecutor Clare Green told the court the victim was “particularly vulnerable” and suffered from “various mental health difficulties” and had allowed Kulatunga to move into his home in June 2022.

Nisala Kulatunga, 22, pictured outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court.Nisala Kulatunga, 22, pictured outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Nisala Kulatunga, 22, pictured outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Ms Green said Kulatunga had befriended the man and had turned up at his door claiming he had been thrown out his flat and needed somewhere to stay “for a week or so”. The court was told the man allowed Kulatunga to move in temporarily but the dealer soon took over and moved all his clothes in and demanded a set of keys.

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The vulnerable man became concerned after the dealer began inviting friends into the flat and witnessed him selling drugs from “10am to midnight” almost every day of the week.

The fiscal told the court the man asked Kulatunga to move out “on a weekly basis” and had to seek medical attention due to the “impact on his mental well-being” when he was refused.

The victim was said to have eventually confided in friends at a local bakery who subsequently contacted the police in October 2022. The flat was raided where “a strong smell of cannabis” was detected and during a search officers discovered 1240 grams of the drug with a street value of around £15,500.

Ms Green also said mobile phones found contained text messages that were “indicative of drug supply” and that Kulatunga had attempted to blame the man he was staying with. But forensic testing proved that DNA and fingerprints found on a rucksack and plastic bags of cannabis discovered in the flat belonged to Kulatunga.

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Solicitor Michael Elliot, defending, said his client was an engineering student and had been sent back to Sri Lanka for a short time following his arrest to live with his father who is a naval officer. Mr Elliott said Kulatunga, of Leith, Edinburgh, was “essentially a runner” for others higher up the drug supply chain.

Kulatunga returned to the dock to be sentenced on Friday, May 10, but Sheriff Alistair Noble was told the social work report previously called for had not been prepared. Sheriff Noble deferred sentence for a second time to next month.

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