An Ellon man has admitted supplying heroin to his brother, who died just hours after taking the drug.
Alan Howe supplied heroin to, and consumed it with, his brother in Ellon on October 14, last year.
But the 49-year-old was forced to call an ambulance the following morning after finding his brother Stuart Howe unresponsive.
Emergency crews raced to the scene on the town’s Park Road but Stuart was pronounced dead at the scene.
The cause of death was found to be the combined effects of a number of drugs, including heroin.
Appearing at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, Howe pleaded guilty to a charge of supplying heroin.
Fiscal depute David Ballock told the court Howe had called an ambulance at 10am on October 15, last year after finding his brother “unresponsive and not breathing”.
Death by ‘combined effects’ of drugs
When ambulance technicians arrived, he told them the pair had “consumed heroin the previous evening”.
Stuart Howe was pronounced dead, with the cause of death later being found to be the “combined effects” of heroin, methadone and diazepam.
Alan Howe disclosed that he had sourced a bag of heroin the previous evening and prepared it for both himself and his brother.
Defence agent David Sutherland said: “He accepts he supplied his brother with heroin, and sadly his brother, who as I understand it had a number of health issues and was a longstanding drug abuser, died sometime thereafter.”
‘Trying to change his lifestyle’
He added: “Clearly the death of his brother has been another catalyst in him trying to change his lifestyle and the social work reports suggest there has been progress on that front.
“He has been engaging with substance abuse handlers.”
Mr Sutherland asked sheriff Margaret Hodge to give Howe “a chance to continue with that” with a community sentence.
Hopes to see progress continue
The sheriff told Howe: “Clearly you have made progress and one hopes that will continue.”
Howe, of Gordon Place, Ellon, was ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and be under the supervision of a social worker for 12 months.
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