Prison for £7,000 cannabis courier

More than �7,000 worth of cannabis was found in a car which was stopped by police at the Carter Bar. The court heard the vehicle was on its way to Hawick.
More than �7,000 worth of cannabis was found in a car which was stopped by police at the Carter Bar. The court heard the vehicle was on its way to Hawick.
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A drug courier, stopped en route to Hawick, with over £7,000 cannabis and £2,900 cash, has been jailed for 12 months.

Thirty-two-year-old Paul Marshall, of Burnfoot Road, appeared at Selkirk Sheriff Court on Monday and admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis on the A6088 road at Bonchester Bridge and in Benfield Road, Newcastle, on December 12, 2014.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser told how police received information about a car travelling to Scotland with a quantity of controlled drugs.

“Officers attended at the Carter Bar area and saw the car travelling towards Hawick,” explained Mr Fraser.

In the vehicle, they found a “substantial amount” of cannabis, with a value of around £7,500, and also £2,900 in cash.

“He said that his partner knew nothing about it, and couldn’t explain why he was travelling in this fashion,” added Mr Fraser.

A confiscation order for the cash seized was granted by the court.

Defence solicitor Phil Templeton said his client had been “acting as a courier.

“It is a significant quantity of cannabis and that is accepted,” he said.

Mr Templeton said Marshall had no previous convictions for drug supply, and was considered unlikely to become involved in any similar offending.

“His involvement was on a single day,” he added.

The solicitor said his client was currently employed, but likely to lose his job if a custodial sentence was imposed.

“The bulk of his offending, for offences of violence or disorder, was committed some 10 years ago,” continued Mr Templeton. “His alcohol abuse has since reduced and he is now in employment,” he added. “There has been a discernible reduction in his rate of offending.”

“While this was a significant quantity of cannabis, there is no pattern of entrenched offending of this type,” he continued.

He said his client was “realistic enough” to know that custody would be considered by the court.

Jailing the accused for 12 months, Sheriff Peter Paterson told him: “ You have chosen to act as a courier for pure personal gain. In my view, there is no alternative to custody.”