A NORTH drugs dealer has been jailed for more than seven months despite his lawyer pleading for him to be placed on a community payback order.
Defence agent Aileen MacInnes argued that Steven Taylor, Cadboll Road, Invergordon, was forced to “move on” drugs because he was in debt to other dealers who were demanding his family members pay up if he could not.
Taylor (25), appeared for sentencing at Tain Sheriff Court yesterday having previously admitted two offences involving drugs.
He pleaded guilty at an earlier court to being in possession of 117.5 grammes of Cannabis Resin at Urquhart Place, Tain, on September 12.
And he also admitted another charge of possessing Cannabis Resin with intent to supply at Kilmuir Place, Invergordon, on March 8.
Taylor has been in custody since March 9.
At yesterday’s court, Ms MacInnes said the March 8 offence occurred just eight days after Taylor had been placed on a community payback order at Tain court in relation to yet another drugs offence dating back to 2016.
Ms MacInnes said that, as a result of the drugs being confiscated, Mr Taylor “found himself in some position of debt to those who were supplying him with the drug for his personal use.”
She said: “Those owed money by Mr Taylor pursued him again with the carrot that, if he undertook to move on a quantity of drugs, that would be the debt paid.
“Mr Taylor found himself in a cycle of debt and also found that, once he went into custody, impositions were being made on others to repay the debt.”
The lawyer continued: “Steps have now been taken to deal with that and I hope that will give Mr Taylor a clean slate when he regains his liberty.”
Ms MacInnes said her client had been a drug user for a number of years and it had come to be a problem.
“He has moved from the Tain area where he felt under the influence of people not helpful to his pursuit of being drugs free,” she said.
She asked Sheriff Chris Dickson to consider a community disposal with a requirement that Taylor seek help for his drug addiction.
But Sheriff Chris Dickson took a different view and sentenced Taylor to a total of 222 days in jail backdated to the date he was taken into custody.
The sheriff told him: “I have taken into account your personal history, the contents of the background report and all that has been said in mitigation.
“You were convicted on February 27 of dealing in Cannabis Resin and were given the opportunity of a community disposal to address your difficulties.
“But then in March you were dealing in Cannabis yet again. That is a significantly aggravating factor.”