Probation for drug supplier

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A POLICE raid on James Lovatt’s home recovered cannabis with a value of £475.

The 31-year-old – who has been affected by both alcohol and drugs for the past 20 years – admitted he intended to give some of the drugs to friends and family.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of having cannabis with intent to supply to others at a house in Ruberslaw Road on November 12 last year.

Depute fiscal Keith O’Mahony explained that the intelligence-led operation resulted in police getting a search warrant which was executed by officers at 9am.

He said: “They asked the accused if there were any controlled substances in the house and he showed them five bags which contained cannabis which had a maxmimum value of £475.

“He explained he intended to provide some of that to friends and family and appears to have made full admissions at interview and in reply to the charge.”

Defence lawyer Joe Boyd explained that Lovatt, now living in Galalaw Road, had not come to the attention of the courts since 2004.

He told Jedburgh Sheriff Court: “He is 31 years of age but for the past 20 years he has had issues with alcohol and illicit drugs.

“The background report confirms he was a hard drug user and regularly took heroin. However, he has not taken heroin for around nine years.

“He has gradually managed to temper his difficulties but because of the nature and degree of his dependency, he is not able to go cold turkey.

“Several people, of which he is one, took it in turn to buy cannabis with the intention of sharing it.

“It was his turn to buy the drug and it was split into five portions, one of which was for him.”

Mr Boyd added that the father-of-three was “absolutely petrified” at the prospect of custody.

He explained his client had managed to stay out of trouble for more than a year since committing the offence.”

Sheriff Donald Corke said he was able to impose the alternative to custody because Lovatt had been of good behaviour for the past year and the lack of commercial element surrounding the dealing.

Instead he imposed a probation order with the condition that he carries out 180 hours of unpaid work in the community.