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Wanted London criminal set up crack cocaine ‘safe house’ in Dundee

Crack cocaine
Nearly £8,000 of crack cocaine was found in the flat.

A London dealer who tried to flood Dundee with thousands of pounds worth of crack cocaine has been jailed.

Rory Skinner-Headley ran a “safe house” for drug barons in the city’s Pentland Crescent.

The 26-year-old was already a wanted criminal when he set up the base, Dundee Sheriff Court heard.

He was talked into getting involved in Dundee’s drug trade while awaiting sentence for a similar offence in his home town of Croydon.

Jailing Skinner-Headley for eight months, Sheriff Alistair Carmichael said: “You may not know this, but Dundee has one of the highest rates of drug-related deaths in the UK.

“When you came up here to peddle this stuff, your presence was not welcome.”

Skinner-Headley must also pay back £2,190 as part of a proceeds of crime order.

Drug paraphernalia on open display

Fiscal depute Gavin Burton said officers raided the second floor flat after learning it was being used as a safe house.

“Entry was forced. The accused was found inside the property.”

Referring to a woman who was also in the flat, Skinner-Headley told police: “It’s nothing to do with her. It’s me – all me.”

Mr Burton said a set of scales with white substance was on “open display” at the property.

A tick list, containing information about drug sales and amounts, was found in Skinner-Headley’s trouser pocket.

A similar list was found at the flat, alongside several “white rocks” and more than £2,000 in cash.

Mr Burton told the court nearly 79g of crack cocaine was found around the property.

The drugs had an estimated street value of £7,890.

Mr Burton said when Skinner-Headley first appeared at Dundee’s court in connection to the case, he was wanted for a recall to prison order.

‘A familiar story’

Solicitor Ross Donnelly said his client had, since his arrest, been recalled to court in Croydon and sentenced to four years in connection with similar drugs offences.

“He has a record which shows a gradual increase in severity of offending,” he said.

“It’s a familiar story.

“He tells me he started off as a drug user but accrued a debt to people in London who were supplying him with drugs.

“He was told if he wanted to pay down the debt, he would have to get involved in the supply of drugs.”

Walked out of court

Skinner-Headley had gone to court in England in August in connection with a local drugs case.

During a break in proceedings, he was persuaded by dealers to come to Dundee and sell drugs at street level.

“Of course, once he was out of their clutches, he could have called the police,” said Mr Donnelly.

“He is not claiming there was coercion here.”

He added: “While he has been in prison, he has been putting steps in place to lead the best life he can once he is released.

“He wants to break this habit of offending.

“But he knows there is nothing other than a custodial sentence available to the court today.”

Skinner-Headley, listed as a prisoner in London, admitted being involve in the supply of class-A cocaine at the Pentland Crescent flat on December 13, 2019.

He did not challenge a court order to seize the £2,190 worth of cash found in the flat.

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