Prisoner in Bishopbriggs jail ordered Holytown girlfriend to claw back drugs clash

editorial image

A criminal faces more time behind bars after he ordered his girlfriend to chase up drug debts while he was in prison.

David McGuire rang Holytown woman Nicola Steven more than 300 times from HMP Low Moss, near Bishopbriggs.

Many of the calls included threats to her and demands that she continue running his drugs operation for him.

At Hamilton Sheriff Court, McGuire admitted assaulting her before he was jailed and stalking her at her home in Apollo Path, Holytown.

McGuire was serving three years for abducting and assaulting a man over a £2,000 drugs debt.

In the latest case, Wendy McAdam, prosecuting, said that while McGuire was in prison he bombarded Ms Steven with menacing calls.

Ms McAdam told the court: “Ms Steven’s mother asked the prison to stop them and the authorities tried, but the calls continued from various mobiles.

“During calls and text messages McGuire would talk about drugs and apparently didn’t care if he was being recorded.

“He would ask Ms Steven to text people for drug money. She told him no but he would threaten her and she felt she had no choice but to comply with his demands.”

McGuire admitted instructing her “to carry out tasks connected with the sale and supply of controlled drugs”

McGuire’s lawyer, Stephen Bentley, urged Sheriff Thomas Millar to impose a concurrent sentence so his client’s current August 2021 release date wouldn’t be affected.

Mr Bentley said: “He’s shown a remorseful attitude and accepts his behaviour towards his ex-partner was wrong.

“The criminal justice social work report indicates there is a clear focus for supervision when he is released from prison.

“He has been making progress through attending courses while in custody.”

But Sheriff Millar jailed McGuire for 20 months and ordered it to begin when his current sentence ends.

The sheriff told him: “These offences are serious, particularly because you were serving a sentence at the time.”

McGuire was also handed a three-year non-harassment in respect of his ex.

The sheriff added: “Hopefully, with you having attended these courses, there will be no repetition of this conduct with any future partner on your release.”

The case raised questions about just how much monitoring of prisoners’ calls is carried out.

Liam Kerr MSP, the Scottish Tories shadow justice secretary, said: “It is outrageous that this prisoner was able to continue his criminal activity by phone from the comfort of his prison cell.

“The SNP Government must ensure that prisons have enough staff and time to clamp down on criminal activity like this.”