A MORAY MAN who admitted providing heroin and then trying to cover up a death resulting from his action has been jailed at Elgin Sheriff Court.
Sam McMahon was sentenced to 38 months for a crime that Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov said highlighted the “sordid reality of drug abuse”.
McMahon supplied the drugs to 20-year-old former Lossiemouth High pupil Wallace Murphy – but he died in an Elgin flat shortly after taking the substance. McMahon then attempted to cover up how Mr Murphy had died by placing a gas canister into his hand so that it might appear he had died from gas inhalation.
Mr Murphy was found in the flat at Francis Place in Elgin on May 18, 2014. Fiscal Kevin Corrins told the court: “When the accused visited the property the night before he took out a quarter of heroin and shared it out. He cooked up some and split it between himself and Mr Murphy.
“When Mr Murphy was found dead, the accused placed a canister of gas in his hand and used a dog’s blanket to wipe away any traces that he had touched it.”
The court learned that McMahon suggested that Mr Murphy’s body should be moved outside and left somewhere, but others present in the flat were not keen to be involved.
Sentencing McMahon, Sheriff Pasportnikov said: “This is viewed very seriously by the courts. You tampered with a dead body and encouraged others to do so.”
Mr Murphy’s father Terence told the P&J newspaper that the family believed that evening was the first time his son had tried heroin – and that the tragedy should be seen as a warning for others who needed to be aware of the consequences of drug taking.
He said: “We believe Wallace had never tied anything like this before, it was just a silly thing he got involved with. It goes to show that people should not even try heroin one time.”