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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Prison drug dealing lawyer jailed
Angela Baillie
Angela Baillie admitted dealing drugs at Barlinnie
A solicitor has been jailed for two years and eight months for supplying drugs to a prisoner in Barlinnie Jail.

Angela Baillie, 32, from Newton Mearns, who worked for Lobjoie and Co, admitted supplying heroin and the tranquiliser diazepam to the inmate last October.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, her defence lawyer said she had been coerced into supplying the drugs by a gangland figure.

He said she was suffering from a psychiatric illness at the time.

The court heard from defence QC Paul McBride that Baillie, who has a teenage daughter, had delivered a cigarette packet stuffed with drugs worth almost 1,600 to the jail after the mother of an underworld figure made her an offer "she could not refuse".

Mr McBride said that Baillie's mental illness meant she was unable to think straight and did not report the threats to the authorities.

SENTENCING STATEMENT

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Baillie had used the lawyers' consulting room at Barlinnie for the handover.

Mr McBride said Baillie suffered from bi-polar disorder which had not been diagnosed before in spite of past episodes of drug abuse, eating disorders, depression and suicide attempts.

The lawyer claimed that Baillie's condition amounted to diminished responsibility.

"Her professional life was a sham and a facade masking stress, illness and an inability to cope with life," he said.

'Erratic work'

He said that by the second half of last year her work had become "erratic" and her professional life was bordering on disaster as her mental problems returned.

Lord Kinclaven said that despite having heard a powerful plea in mitigation he had to consider the gravity of the offences and the breach of trust involved.

He said: "Your case, like many others in this court, clearly illustrates the damage and devastation that can be caused by involvement with drugs and the drug trade.

She has committed a serious crime which goes against the very core values of being a solicitor -trust and honesty
Martin McAllister
Law Society of Scotland

"I have taken into account what has been said about the circumstances of the offending, coercion, pressure, threats of violence, reference to a hand gun, fears for safety, vulnerability, the apparent lack of financial gain, your co-operation with the Crown, and the fact that your legal career is now over."

He said he had also taken into account Baillie's bi-polar disorder and her past problems with substance and alcohol abuse.

But he added: "I am satisfied that the court does require to impose a custodial sentence."

Prisoner tip-off

Martin McAllister, convener of the Law Society's professional conduct committee, said: "Angela Baillie grossly breached the trust placed in her by the public, the profession and the courts of Scotland.

"Whatever the circumstances of Ms Baillie's case, she has committed a serious crime which goes against the very core values of being a solicitor - trust and honesty."

Baillie became a solicitor in 1997 and earned 30,000 a year with Glasgow law firm Lobjoie and Co.

Her practising certificate lapsed in October 2005 and she has not worked as a solicitor since.

At an earlier hearing of the case it was disclosed that an investigation had been started following a tip-off from another prisoner.

The Crown claimed she made 52,556 from drug dealing and steps have been taken to strip her of her assets.




SEE ALSO:
'Ill' lawyer stalls drug sentence
27 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Drug dealer lawyer defends assets
13 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Prison drug lawyer named by court
07 Feb 06 |  Scotland
Lawyer supplied drugs to prisoner
06 Feb 06 |  Scotland


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