Downfall of lawyer who acted as prison drug mule 25 April 2006

angela baillie Lawyer who smuggled drugs into prison gets jail term Angela Baillie claimed that she was 'coerced' into breaking law Defence counsel said client had a history of mental problems Key quote "Whatever the circumstances of Ms Baillie's case, she has committed a serious crime which goes against the very core values of being a solicitor - trust and honesty." - Law Society of Scotland

A DISGRACED lawyer who says she was "coerced" by a feared underworld figure into smuggling drugs into prison was jailed for 32 months yesterday. Angela Baillie, 32, had felt unable to resist a demand to deliver heroin and diazepam tablets to an inmate of Glasgow's Barlinnie prison, after a gun was shown to her, a court heard. The judge was urged by Baillie's QC to take the exceptional step of sparing her from a jail term, but Lord Kinclaven said no other method of dealing with her would be appropriate. "Your case, like many others in this court, clearly illustrates the tragedies and the devastation that can be caused by involvement with drugs and the drugs trade," Lord Kinclaven told Baillie, a former cocaine addict from a well-off family.

He said it was clear from the quantities of drugs that they were not for personal use, but for supply into the prison system generally, and Baillie, as a solicitor visiting the jail on business, had been in a position of trust. Indicating the sentence would have been four years but for her plea of guilty, Lord Kinclaven added: "The court requires to mark the gravity of your offences and the court's disapproval." Baillie, of Newton Mearns, Glasgow, showed little emotion as she was led from the dock at the High Court in Edinburgh. She had admitted being concerned in the supplying of the drugs, worth £1,558, in October last year. She was caught after a tip-off. She visited a client and passed to him a cigarette packet containing 14.85g of heroin and 158 diazepam tablets. As well as being prosecuted, Baillie is facing proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act, in which the authorities are seeking a confiscation order in the sum of £52,556. She disputes that the money was made illegally, and there will be a hearing later to determine the issue.

Yesterday, the defence counsel, Paul McBride, QC, said Baillie, a divorced mother of a 15-year-old daughter, had a history of psychiatric problems which, since the Barlinnie offence, had been diagnosed as a bipolar disorder (a type of mental illness typified by mood swings). In the past, she had had a drug addiction and had attempted suicide. "Her professional life was essentially a façade hiding... a real inability to do anything other than merely cope with life," said Mr McBride. He said psychiatrists who had examined Baillie recently had concluded that at the time of the offence she was suffering from diminished responsibility. Mr McBride said the crime had not been committed for financial or professional gain, but Baillie had endured coercion. He mentioned "an individual" and described the man as a career criminal with connections to drug-dealing syndicates in Glasgow. "He and his associates are properly regarded as dangerous individuals," added Mr McBride.

A woman known to the man had contacted Baillie before the offence and asked her to supply and store drugs. The requests were refused, said Mr McBride. Then, a couple of days before she went to Barlinnie, Baillie was visited at her home by the woman. She was told she had to deliver drugs to the jail. She was not threatened, but a handgun was "apparent in the possession of this woman". Mr McBride continued: "She asked [Baillie] to store the gun. She did not do so. Her perception was that the woman's intention had no doubt been to display to her that the demand to deliver drugs was a demand made by a dangerous network of individuals for whom firearms and violence was a stock-in-trade. "A gun was not put to her head, but the demand was made in such a way she felt it could not be refused. At that time, she lived alone with her child."

On the eve of the prison visit, the cigarette packet containing the drugs had been taken to Baillie's home. She was at her wits' end, not knowing what to do. "What she ought to have done is contact the authorities or her family. She did not follow any of these routes. Had she done so, she would not be here today. "Her reason was impaired through [mental] illness. This would have been entirely different if she was capable of proper thought and reason," said Mr McBride. Since her arrest, Baillie had never gone back to her home, fearing those involved might seek to silence or punish her. She had made herself available to the Crown as a witness at a forthcoming trial. Mr McBride said Baillie's career was over, and she had arranged to have her name removed from the roll of solicitors. He argued for a sentence of probation with a condition that Baillie, who has spent the past ten weeks at a clinic in England, should continue to receive treatment for her illness.

However, Lord Kinclaven said: "The various factors referred to on your behalf may explain and mitigate, but they do not excuse you from responsibility." Last night, the Law Society of Scotland said: "Whatever the circumstances of Ms Baillie's case, she has committed a serious crime which goes against the very core values of being a solicitor - trust and honesty." A life of privilege left in tatters after fatal attraction to 'gangster chic' "A SAD and lonely shadow" were the words used by the defence QC to describe the life of Angela Baillie, a former solicitor, now convicted drug dealer. Certainly, as she wakes this morning in a cell at Cornton Vale prison, the thin mattress and bare walls are a shadow of the comfortable accommodation in which she was raised in the affluent Glasgow suburb of Whitecraigs. Yet the description was more apt than Paul McBride, her QC, might have thought: for despite being born to a life of wealth and privilege, with an expensive private education and financial support, Angela Baillie preferred the perceived glamour of the criminal fraternity. For three years, while studying law at Glasgow University, Baillie held down a Saturday job at Versace. As a former colleague recalled: "If there was a famous footballer and a gangster in the store at the same time, Angela would always serve the gangster. "She had a great mind and came from a great background, but she had a fatal flaw - she thought gangsters were glamorous."

There were other problems, too. In court yesterday her QC alluded to a background of alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and suicide attempts, yet the image she presented to the world was of a party animal. As her former colleague recalled: "She was wired to the moon. She would come in late for work still high on Ecstasy and speed." Angela Baillie was one of four daughters of Patricia and Frank Baillie, a successful businessman and a former director of Scottish and Universal Newspapers. Trouble began when she became pregnant at 17, while still a pupil at Fernhill, an exclusive private school in Rutherglen. She went on to wed Charles Carmichael at St Columbkille's Church in Rutherglen in 1990, but the marriage did not last and her husband later applied for divorce. Determined, with an independent spirit, Baillie moved with her young daughter into a small flat in Partick, which was understood to have been bought by her parents. Despite the pressure of completing exams and looking after a small child, she quickly embraced the club scene and its drugs and was often berated for staying out all night and leaving her child with her parents. After she graduated in 1997 she began to work as a trainee solicitor at CF Boyle & Co in Glasgow and moved into a three-bedroom house in Newton Mearns, also purchased by her parents. She is understood to have left the firm under a cloud; however, Mr Boyle refused to comment yesterday. She then spent two years with John Carroll & Co, and a further year self-employed doing agency work for other law firms, before finally joining the firm of Richard Lobjoie & Co on 1 June 2001.

In 2003 she was the talk of legal circles after Fernando Ricksen, a Rangers player, had pursued her for a date after he attended a Bar Association dinner in Glasgow. She was also the talk of legal circles on account of her appetite for drink and drugs, particularly cocaine. The previous year, in 2002, she had failed to turn up for work one day and her employer was contacted by her family who explained that she was seeking treatment for alcoholism at the Priory clinic in London. However, when later confronted by Richard Lobjoie with the accusation that she was taking cocaine, she denied it and did so repeatedly on a number of different occasions. She was viewed by colleagues as a hard worker, but with emotional problems, and staff went out of their way to provide her with the flexible hours crucial to a single mother. Yet older hands in the courts were aware of her propensity towards "gangster chic".

She took a vicarious thrill from working closely with criminals, which when coupled with her unbalanced emotional condition and drug and alcohol addictions, led to her downfall. Her arrest took place on Sunday 23 October 2005, and the story broke a few days later that "a female solicitor" had been held. When confronted by Mr Lobjoie, she denied it referred to her. He advised her to sue, and then felt he had no choice but to suspend her. Yesterday, Mr Lobjoie said: "As far as Angela Baillie is concerned, her actions were a total rejection of all those who tried to help her: her parents, her friends and her colleagues in this firm. "The criminal lawyer is always under pressure. If someone had put her under pressure she should have contacted us, contacted the authorities. She had a whole deck of people who were there to support her, but she chose not to do so."


  • Lawyers drug and sex shame 25 April 2006

    Supergrass reveals lawyer's cell romps

    THE supergrass who shopped drug-smuggling lawyer Angela Baillie yesterday admitted: "I'm a dead man walking." In an explosive confession he revealed he faces deadly reprisals for smashing the jail supply ring masterminded by George "Goofy" Docherty. And he told how Docherty's Barlinnie Prison drugs gang also blackmailed the lawyer - dubbed Ally McDeal - into providing sexual services behind bars. Docherty's clan includes drugs baron John Angus Gorman, a £25million cannabis dealer and another crook Mr X, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

    The whistleblower tells how he became a marked man when he exposed lawyer Baillie to the Serious Crime Squad after a relative was killed by associates of the Docherty gang.The 30-year-old former con - who we agreed not toname- reveals how shamed Baillie, a 32-year-old single mum:

    Snorted cocaine inside Barlinnie. Had sex behind bars with two career criminals. Was given tens of thousands of pounds for drugs.

    Picked Sundays to drop off heroin in cigarette packets, when the prison operated with a skeleton staff. The ex-associate now fears he will be killed "within weeks" after alerting authorities to Baillie's activities and betraying feared criminals. It was his tip-off which led to the police operation which trapped the lawyer. Today he reveals the true story of her part in a lucrative prison drugs ring run with ruthless efficiency by Docherty. The ring is still being investigated despite Baillie being jailed for 32 months last week for passing almost 15 grammes of heroin and 158 Diazepam tablets to a remand prisoner at Barlinnie. Our source was hit with a cattle prod, beaten, stabbed and had "grass" written on his head for blowing the whistle by associate crime family member Eddie Lyons Jnr - who was himself shot in an unconnected incident last week. We verified the supergrass's identity and his statement with security officers inside Barlinnie who he contacted for advice after the attempt on his life.

    He said part of the reason Baillie agreed to become a courier was a blackmail plot. He told us: "Goofy Docherty ran the drugs inside Barlinnie and made a fortune doing it. He and Mr X told me shortly after I arrived that they had a lawyer bringing in drugs for them. "John Gorman, the drugs smuggler, was also involved with their camp. "Angela Baillie carried in more than 20 times, countless times, for them. "As well as threats hanging over her head, she was paid cash - and I mean thousands of pounds.

    "She also had sex with two of the men involved during separate agent visits. "Because they were on remand they get private rooms to meet their lawyers and she performed sex acts on both of them. "I remember sitting across from her one day and she lifted a small glass vial to her nose and sniffed cocaine right there and then inside the jail. "Goofy Docherty is a seriously scary wee guy with that look about him you don't want to go near.

    "He's only a wee guy but he doesn't care about anything in this world except money. He and Mr X ran the drugs. "If you wanted drugs in the hall you would say to them and they would tell you to get someone on the outside to take the required amount of money to a drop at a house in Govan. "They would then be contacted on their mobile phones to be told the money had been paid and the prisoner delivering the meals inside the jail would deliver your drugs. "I took stuff in for them too. They were making a fortune. What you pay inside jail is double what you would pay outside, so they were doubling up the profits and selling thousands of £10 bags at £20 prices. "Angela Baillie regularly brought in the drugs. She always came in on a Sunday because it was a lighter staff and there was less chance of getting caught.

    "It was common knowledge that there was a lawyer bringing in the drugs but we all thought it was being passed at the court. "I found out after a while that Goofy was connected to the murder of a relative of mine. The guy that was killed was not a player so I decided I wasn't having that on my conscience. "The man who delivered the meals and drugs up and down the wing was a lifer called Simon Wiseman. He's doing 14 years for a murder in Clydebank. There were at least two or three parcels coming in every week. "The package Baillie got caught with was a baby-sized one compared to what she had carried in before. "One of the ones she brought in was two grammes of kit in a cigarette pack.

    "The staff did a sweep looking for phones twice a day but they always did it between eight and nine in the morning and eight and nine at night, so you just made sure your phone was off at those times. I eventually went to Ian McGeoch, a prison social worker, and asked to speak to him about what I knew about Baillie. "He called in the police, the Serious Crime Squad, and I told them all I knew. "At first they refused to believe me then they started tellingme specific days when they were thinking of hitting her. "They were in a quandary over whether to nip her outside the jail or let it run right through the visit. "On the Sunday morning it did happen, I had no idea it was coming. I had already given them three different dates when they could have got her on previous visits. "Lawyers don't come in on a Sunday until 11am but that day were all taken down at half past nine in the morning and instead of the usual 'D-Band' screws there were more experienced hall screws in charge of the agent visits. "I was sitting thinking this must be the day but just kept my head down.

    "I came out after the visit and as soon as Mr X came out they grabbed him and dragged him off and that was it. They wanted to move me out of the hall but I said no because that's like putting a target on your back. "They moved another poor guy to deflect the blame and he ended up getting a really bad doing over it all through no fault of his own. "Baillie was held by police and the rest is history. "I saw Goofy Docherty take three showers in nine months and yet this girl performed sex acts on him during visits. "She was under severe pressure because of the blackmail plot. "They could make £5000 in a week through the drugs being brought in. It was serious money and yet not a penny was coming in through the jail." Our insider walked free from jail after he was acquitted of armed robbery. "Goofy" Docherty was one of the main players in the Paisley gang violence of the mid-1990s.

    He was jailed for seven years in October, 1996, for a machete attack on rival Stewart Rennie. He carried out the attack shortly after being released from Glenochil Prison. Docherty was said to be part of a criminal gang that ran the firm FCB securities, which was propped up by more than £200,000 of taxpayers' money. Docherty is also known to be a friend and associate of Paul Ferris. Speaking before her sentence last week, Baillie - a lawyer with eight years experience - said she had destroyed her life with one act of stupidity.She is now in Cornton Vale women's prison where she will serve out her 32-month sentence.

    She told last week how she binged on cocaine and booze as she tried to "medicate" her evidently fractured mind. She said: "I've lost my job, my dignity and my reputation. I'm just so sorry for everything." Eddie Lyons Jnr, 28, was blasted through the door of his luxury detached villa last Tuesday night. The incident was not connected to the attack on our source. Doctors described his condition as serious but stable after the shooting in the Carrickstone area of Cumbernauld, near Glasgow.

    Prison drug dealing lawyer jailed 20 April 2006

    A solicitor has been jailed for two years and eight months for supplying drugs to a prisoner in Barlinnie Jail. Angela Baillie, 32, from Newton Mearns, admitted supplying heroin and tranquillisers to the prisoner last October.

    At the High Court in Edinburgh, her defence lawyer said she had been coerced into supplying the drugs by a gangland figure. He said she was suffering from a psychiatric illness at the time. But Lord Kinclaven said he had to take account of the gravity of the offences and the breach of trust involved.


  • Lawyer who brought drugs into jail 'made £50,000' 14 March 2006

    Angela Baillie caught smuggling heroin and diazepam for prisoner
    Prosecutors seeking £50,000 for alleged smuggling profits
    Case provoked outrage when judge ordered lawyer should not be named

    A CORRUPT lawyer who smuggled drugs into prison has made more than £50,000 from crime, it was alleged yesterday. Angela Baillie, 32, is awaiting sentence for taking heroin and diazepam tablets worth £1,558 to a client in Glasgow's Barlinnie jail.

    However, in a parallel case under the Proceeds of Crime Act, prosecutors are seeking a confiscation order against her to the sum of £52,556. The figure has been calculated by trawling her financial affairs over recent years and working out her expenditure beyond her known income. Baillie, of Newton Mearns, near Glasgow, is contesting the application. Her prosecution attracted widespread publicity last month when a judge initially made an order which temporarily prevented her from being named. The following day, after representations from the media, Lord Kinclaven lifted the ban under the Contempt of Court Act.

    Baillie, who worked for a criminal law firm in Glasgow, had been caught after an insider claimed to the authorities that drugs were being supplied to an inmate by his legal representative during confidential prison visits. The police were alerted and special screenings were carried out to ensure that none of the prisoners due to meet their lawyers had anything on them before a one-to-one meeting in an individual cubicle.

    Baillie's client was strip-searched after his consultation with her and he was found to have a cigarette packet, which had been opened and resealed with sticky tape. It contained 158 diazepam tablets and 14.85g of heroin. DNA on the sticky tape matched samples from Baillie. The advocate-depute, Peter Ferguson, QC, told the High Court in Paisley that, due to the quantities involved, it was "plain beyond doubt" that the drugs were "for supply to the prison system generally".

    Baillie could face a jail term when she appears for sentencing later this month.

    Yesterday, a preliminary hearing in the confiscation proceedings was held at the High Court in Edinburgh. The Crown claimed that Baillie's expenditure over the last six years, funded other than from known sources - she was earning around £30,000 a year - amounted to £52,556 and "represents the benefit from general criminal conduct". It added that she had a realisable asset, her home, which was worth an estimated £165,000, and she did not have a mortgage on the property. John Scullion, counsel for Baillie, said both sides were requesting a continuation in the case "to enable these inquiries to be completed". The judge, Lord Emslie, agreed to schedule another hearing for next month.


  • Drug dealer lawyer defends assets 13 March 2006

    Court action to seize the assets of a lawyer who smuggled heroin and valium into Barlinnie jail has started. The Crown claim Angela Baillie made £52,556 from drug dealing and have moved to strip her of her assets.

    Baillie, 32, of Newton Mearns, is contesting the confiscation demand at the High Court in Edinburgh. Judge Lord Emslie allowed both sides until the end of April to examine the figures for her income, assets and spending over the last six years. Prosecutors claim Baillie can be made to pay up because her home is worth £165,000.

    On Monday, defence advocate John Scullion told the High Court in Edinburgh that her answers to the Crown claims had been lodged. A further hearing on the confiscation issue has been fixed for the end of April.

    In February, Baillie appeared at the High Court in Paisley and admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin and diazepam. She faces sentence later this month.


  • Judge protects lawyer who gave heroin to prisoner 7 February 2006

    MSP Kenny MacAskill: "Proceedings are a matter of public record"

    Key points
    A lawyer smuggled Diazepam and heroin into Barlinnie jail
    The lawyer has been granted anonymity by a judge
    Politicians have voiced shock at the judge's ruling

    Key quote "It may be a matter of timing. But this person needs to be named and shamed." - Margaret Mitchell MSP
    A LAWYER who smuggled drugs into a Scottish jail and handed them to a client was yesterday controversially granted anonymity by a judge. The solicitor pleaded guilty yesterday to the supplying of heroin and Diazepam tablets with a street value of up to £1,638 to a prisoner at Barlinnie jail in Glasgow.

    The criminal lawyer was caught after an inside informant alerted the authorities, reporting that drugs were being supplied to an inmate by his legal representative during confidential prison visits which take place to allow defence agents to prepare cases. The judge, Lord Kinclaven, agreed to a request by the lawyer's defence counsel, Paul McBride QC, that reporting restrictions should be in place to protect his client's identity, following an earlier appeal by the Crown for a ban on identification of the prisoner. The ruling has been challenged by the media and a hearing on the matter will take place in the High Court this morning.

    Last night politicians voiced shock at the judge's ruling. The Scottish Tory justice spokeswoman, Margaret Mitchell MSP, said: "It may be a matter of timing. But this person needs to be named and shamed." Her SNP counterpart, Kenny MacAskill MSP, said: "Fundamentally court proceedings are a matter of public record unless for some good reason. This is surprising. However, we have to ensure future prosecutions are not prejudiced." The High Court in Paisley heard that the information about the lawyer was passed to police and special screenings were done to ensure none of the prisoners due to meet their lawyers had anything on them before the next string of one-to-one meetings in individual cubicles last October.

    Immediately after his consultation, the inmate at the centre of the investigation was taken to an area to be strip searched. He was found to have a cigarette case which had been opened and re-sealed with sticky tape. The package contained 158 Diazepam tablets and 14.85 grams of heroin. DNA traces were retrieved from the sticky tape which matched samples taken from the lawyer.

    The lawyer was detained and questioned but "remained mute" throughout on the advice of those instructing. Advocate depute Peter Ferguson QC told the court that due to the quantities involved, it was "plain beyond doubt" that the drugs were not solely for the use of the individual who was given them but "for supply to the prison system generally". The court was told that criminal lawyers were allowed access to clients and it was not unusual for papers and video tapes to be carried in to the interview cubicles.

    Under normal circumstances, lawyers would not be subjected to searches.

    It was stated that after being arrested, detectives had examined the lawyer's house and car with negative results. Confiscation procedures will now kick in under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Sentence was deferred for a full profile on the accused after Mr McBride told the court there were long-standing issues which required to be studied on his client's behalf. The 32-year-old was ordered to return to the High Court in Edinburgh on March 27. During his narration of the case at the High Court in Paisley, advocate depute Peter Ferguson, QC had asked the judge for legal reasons to consider restricting the scope of reporting of the identity or any details which would lead to the identity of all concerned. Mr McBride went further and invited Lord Kinclaven to broaden the restrictions on reporting, making it impossible to name his client or the other person named on the indictment.

    Lord Kinclaven retired briefly to consider the detail contained in the submissions, none of the specifics of which can be reported due to his ruling. When he returned, he put reporting restrictions in place in terms of the Contempt of Court Act saying those would cover "the naming or identification of the panel [accused] or any other named individual." A spokeswoman for the Law Society of Scotland said the case was the first of its kind. "We will wait for formal notification of the conviction and consider further disciplinary action from there," she said.