Dornoch man escapes jail
A 21-year-old pig farm worker who had been using cannabis since he was 12 has escaped jail after admitting producing the drug with intent to supply at Pitgrudy near Dornoch.
Reece Holmes had pleaded guilty to the offence on November 10 last year and Sheriff Margaret Neilson had deferred sentence (for reports) until today at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Fiscal depute Robert Weir had told Sheriff Neilson that police found two tick lists, £145 in cash and scales in the property when the search was carried out on November 10 last year.
Two cannabis plants and a number of drying out cannabis buds, which had the potential to have a maximum sale value of almost £33,000 were found.
"He told officers that he had moved into the property seven months earlier with his girlfriend who had nothing to do with the drugs. He claimed they were for personal use and he smoked 3.5grams a day," said Mr Weir.
When Holmes returned to court for sentencing, solicitor Graham Mann said he had a history of misuse of cannabis, alarmingly since he was 12 years of age.
"He had been purchasing cannabis from certain individuals. He then set up his own very small cultivation plant for personal use."
Mr Mann said Holmes's position was he was then "prevailed upon" by those who had supplied him in the past – the type of people you don't say "no" to.
They left two kilos of herbal cannabis for drying out.
"It's a big quantity but his involvement is restricted. He was only looking after it."
Sheriff Neilson however told Mr Mann that people who continue to stash or dry out drugs for bigger dealers allow them to continue to ply their trade.
Mr Mann said Holmes had managed to stay clear of trouble and was in a stable relationship and had no previous convictions.
Sheriff Neilson said given his young age and the fact he had no previous convictions she was not going to jail him.
She placed him under supervision for 18 months and ordered him to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.