A jailed drug trafficker wants a day out of prison to unlock a computer at an Apple store.
William Binnie faces a £170,000 confiscation hearing after being jailed for four and a half years for cocaine dealing in Fife.
The Crown has claimed he has benefited from criminal conduct by £678,000 and £170,000 is available to meet a confiscation order.
Evidence was due to begin on the Proceeds of Crime move but Binnie’s counsel told the High Court in Edinburgh he hopes to recover information from an Apple computer that would help his defence.
He claims it holds records of non-criminal business dealings.
Interests of justice
Defence agent Mark Moir said he met Binnie last week at Perth Prison and was told of the existence of the computer, at the prisoner’s home.
Binnie said there was a large amount of evidence on the computer, some of which related to items he had sold on Gumtree, including vehicles.
Mr Moir said: “He advises me he does not know and has forgotten the access code to the computer and thought ‘That’s it, it has been lost’.”
The defence counsel said Binnie subsequently discovered if he takes the computer to an Apple store staff would have the facilities “to break into the computer”.
“He advises me it has to be him because he is the registered owner of the computer,” Mr Moir said.
He said Binnie, who was jailed in July 2019, anticipated he would be moved to an open prison in the next nine to 10 weeks, when he would have access to the community and would take the equipment to an appropriate store.
He argued it was in the interests of justice Binnie is given the opportunity to present all the information available to vouch for the sources of his income.
Pressure on time
Advocate depute Dan Byrne opposed the motion to discharge the hearing and said it was almost two years since Binnie was first provided with paperwork in the proceeds of crime action.
The judge, Lady Scott, said she would reluctantly discharge the hearing as her main concern was it would not be completed in the two days’ of court time allocated.
She said if the computer issue had been the only matter to consider, she did not think she would have put it off.
The judge put the case off until November.
Binnie was jailed in 2019 after he was caught with cocaine worth £1750.
He admitted being concerned in the supply of the Class-A drug between August 2018 and January 2019 at Rising Sun Road, Buckhaven, and Main Street, West Wemyss, both Fife.
He previously served a nine-year sentence for trafficking in heroin.