Stunned heroin dealer told he had to expect ‘substantial sentence’

A DRUG addict who used a taxi for a heroin deal has been hit with a four-year prison sentence.

Social workers recommended Gordon Donald be placed on a Drug and Treatment Testing Order after he was caught dealing.

But the 35-year-old looked stunned when he was handed the lengthy jail term.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told that police responded to a 999 call about a disturbance at Donald’s home in Renwick Terrace on March 3 but found nothing on their arrival.

But officers then spotted a taxi leaving the street with Donald and another man in the back seat.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said a search uncovered a bag of brown powder and a set of scales in the back seat of the taxi.

The heroin had a street value of £920 and they also seized two mobile phones and £103.50 in cash.

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme described Donald as a “chaotic long-term drug user” but urged the sheriff to follow the recommendation of background reports and impose a Drug and Treatment Testing Order.

But Sheriff Derrick McIntyre said: “I am not prepared to
give a DTTO for this type of offence.

“Drugs are a blight on our society causing crime and misery.

“Those who deal in drugs must expect substantial prison sentences.”

Donald was given three-and-a-half years for heroin dealing and another six months for assaulting a Job Centre employee in a separate incident in Galashiels - both sentences to run consecutively.