A Perth man was paid to fly several mobile phones into the city’s maximum security jail from a nearby bakery.
But he crashed the drone before it reached its target, Perth Sheriff Court was told this week.
And 25-year-old Ian Luke Chalmers was also brought down to earth when he was jailed for six months on Wednesday.
The accused, of Fairfield Avenue, also had another two months added to that sentence for shoplfting offences at local stores.
Lawyer Paul Ralph said his client had been offered an unspecified sum of cash by “someone whose boyfriend was in prison.”
But Chalmers ended up being the “patsy” when he was arrested by police.
Chalmers admitted trying to get the prohibited items into the Edinburgh Road jail on November 22, 2020, at the Tower Bakery shop in Perth’s Shore Road, at the rear of the prison buildings.
He admitted attaching the phones to the drone and attempting to drop them into the prison.
He was subject to a September 30, 2020, bail order from Dundee Sheriff Court at the time.
The accused had a not guilty plea accepted to a second charge of trying to fly in SIM cards, tobacco and a USB mobile phone charger, again using a drone.
He was awaiting sentence at that time for the theft of alcohol and groceries from the North Muirton Co-op store on
September 9, 2020, and for helping himself to a quantity of laundry products from The Food Warehouse, St Catherine’s Retail Park, Perth, on July 17, 2019.
Depute fiscal Sarah Wilkinson said the drone incident took place at the rear compound of the Tower Bakery.
The police were contacted about 3.20pm after a man was seen in possession of what seemed to be a drone.
A woman was also seen in a car and when police arrived on the scene, Chalmers was identified as being a passenger in the vehicle.
The car was stopped and an Asda Bag for Life was in “full sight” in the footwell.
The female said she had been asked by the accused for a lift.
The bag appeared to be “padded out” and contained items described as being white in colour and made of plastic.
The depute fiscal said: “She dropped him off at the locus and picked him up a short time later.
“When collecting him, he was still in possession of the carrier bag but it appeared empty and his clothing pockets appeared full.”
She was searched but that proved negative.
But a black sock, with a string and tape, was found in the car and a Samsung phone and two other mobiles were recovered from inside.
Police later discovered the drone in the area of the bakery.
The accused had been remanded following his initial court appearance.
Mr Ralph told the court: “This was his first period in custody – and he didn’t find it a pleasant experience.
“He was stupid to get involved.
“This isn’t normally in his sphere of operations.
“He doesn’t usually look beyond the end of his nose to acquire drugs for himself.”
The period on remand, however, had allowed him to complete a detox.
Sheriff Neil Bowie told him: “Attempting to introduce mobile phones into prison is an extremely serious matter and in some ways you are fortunate to appear on summary complaint.
“It may be that you were taking a risk for a relatively small sum of money.”
Only one sentence was “appropriate” – and that was custody – bearing in mind he was on deferred sentence and subject to bail at the time.
The jail term was backdated to November 23, when Chalmers was remanded.