Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Alan Dickson lived in Malaga where he took on a job and cared for his ailing mother before coming to the attention of Spanish police.

Alan Dickson fled following his Christmas holiday release from Castle Huntly open prison at Longforgan in 2006.He lived in Malaga where he took on a job and cared for his ailing mother before coming to the attention of Spanish police.Dickson had been jailed for 10 years in March 2002 after being “shopped” by one of his drug couriers.
The 38-year-old, formerly of Falkland, sent the couriers back to Scotland laden with cannabis resin-laden suitcases from his flat in Torremolinos, Spain.He was in business for over nine months before he and four accomplices were trapped in an undercover operation led by Fife Police and the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency.
It was estimated that the drugs involved in the enterprise could have had a street value of over £1 million.Three of his assistants were jailed for a total of 13 years at the High Court in Edinburgh, while a fourth walked free in return for giving evidence.He appeared from custody at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday, where depute fiscal Alan Kempton told the court that Dickson had been faced with at least 22 months’ further imprisonment when he took the decision to flee.He explained that Dickson had been serving the latter part of his sentence at Castle Huntly, having been transferred from HMP Perth on June 20, 2006.“On December 23, 2006, the accused was released from Castle Huntly on temporary licence,” Mr Kempton said.“He was to return no later that 4pm on December 28, but by 7pm on the 28th he has still not returned and a warrant was issued for his arrest.“The accused was subsequently arrested in Spain, having been living in Malaga, on October 13, 2008.”Solicitor Michelle Renton told the court that her client had surrendered himself to the police in Spain after he became aware that they were looking for him.She said, “He was given his release from Castle Huntly for the Christmas holidays.“He decided to abscond because his mother—who along with his father lived in Malaga in Spain—had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.“He absconded to care for her and he did so until she died on May 8, 2008.“While in Spain, together with attending to his mother’s needs, he rented a property and was working.“He was a law-abiding citizen in Spain, for what that is worth.”Miss Renton said her client’s extradition warrant had later come to the attention of the Spanish authorities.She said, “After handing himself in, he co-operated fully with the extradition procedure.”The accused spent two months in a Spanish cell before being extradited back to Scotland and Perth Prison.Dickson, described as a prisoner at Perth, admitted absconding from HMP Castle Huntly, Longforgan, on December 28, 2006 having been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment at Edinburgh High Court on March 5, 2002 in relation to drugs offences.
Sheriff William Gilchrist said, “To abscond from open prison is a serious offence, whatever the motivation.”The sheriff sentenced Dickson to an additional 12 months’ imprisonment.He will also have to serve out the remaining 22 months of his original sentence.

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