Thug pair get 10 years for attacks on drug debtors

Peter Cameron was caught out by a quick-thinking dad
Peter Cameron was caught out by a quick-thinking dad
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TWO violent thugs snared by the quick-thinking dad of one of their targets have been jailed for a total of ten years.

Peter Cameron and John McCarthy had used henchmen armed with 18-inch machetes to collect a drug debt.

John McCarthy was jailed for six years

John McCarthy was jailed for six years

Yesterday, Cameron, 31, was sentenced to four years in prison and McCarthy, 38, to six years.

Judge Lord Bannatyne also ordered each of them to be monitored in the community for three years after their release.

Lord Bannatyne warned the pair that if they offended while out on licence they would be returned to prison.

He told McCarthy: “You have a significant record.

“You were dealing in Class A drugs, but you were not simply a street dealer. You were a middle man and were further up the chain than those we normally see in court.”

Lord Bannatyne added that Cameron also had a significant record.

Cameron was caught by the quick-thinking dad of one of his targets who dialled 1471 after he received threatening calls demanding payment of cash owed by his son.

The dad picked up the phone in the early hours of the morning to hear “Pedro” threaten “unfortunately I know where you live”.

Two days later, “Pedro” called again and told the dad that the debt had risen to £4100.

The dad put the caller off, saying he had to deal with paperwork at the bank before he could get the cash and when the next call came he dialled 1471. The mobile phone number he noted belonged to Cameron’s mother.

Cameron, of Riddochhill Crescent, Blackburn, West Lothian, admitted charges of extortion and attempted extortion.

Co-accused John McCarthy, of Anne Street, Bathgate admitted similar allegations as well as a drug trafficking charge.

The court heard that Cameron and McCarthy also demanded cash from painter and decorator Derek Drummond while two unknown heavies held 18-inch machetes against his cheeks.

Mr Drummond of Bathgate began drinking heavily and using drugs after his marriage and his business collapsed, the court was told. He bought cocaine from McCarthy, spending about £200 a week.

McCarthy also supplied cocaine to a man from Fauldhouse, who was unable to pay after his drug addiction cost him his job.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that in April last year, the man’s father paid him £1500 to settle his son’s drug debt. But last September 22 the threatening phone calls from Cameron began.

McCarthy visited Mr Drummond on September 23, taking drink and a small amount of cocaine, and telling him he had “sold” his drug debt to Cameron.

Cameron arrived at the house later and the two men took Mr Drummond’s plasma TV, another television, a DVD player and iPod speakers.

Mr Drummond paid £2000 to get his possessions back.

The following evening McCarthy called again, followed later by Cameron and two unknown men. McCarthy demanded £4000 and threatened that, of not paid, the interest would be £1000 a day.

Cameron then ordered: “Do him in” and Mr Drummond was held with the machete blades against his cheeks while his washing machine, dishwasher, fridge freezer, clothes and other possessions were loaded into a waiting people-carrier type taxi.

Witnesses told police about the vehicle and they discovered McCarthy had booked it, claiming he was moving house.