Daniel McAllister (26) and another man were parked in a car when police officers decided to search the vehicle due to the strong smell of cannabis within. They found no drugs on McAllister or the other man, but when they looked in the vehicle they found a number packages of a “herbal substance”.
It turned out McAllister, who had fallen on hard times financially, was transporting the packages for another party as a way to make money.
Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Thursday, McAllister, 196 Dean Road, Bo’ness had previously admitted being concerned in the supply of the class B drug at West Lothian Golf Club, Upper Bonnytown on January 3.
Sean Maher, procurator fiscal depute, said: “It was 6.45pm and police officers had cause to speak to the occupants of a blue Ford Fiesta. The accused was in the driving seat and had the key on his person.
“There was a strong smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle. Mr McAllister and another person were then detained and search, but no items were found on them.
“When it was explained a vehicle search would be carried out, Mr McAllister became agitated and concerned about the prospect of this. A search was carried out and a number of items were recovered, including various packages of a green herbal substance.
“Some cash and a mobile phone was also recovered.”
Mr Maher added the total street value of the cannabis recovered was £4500.
Defence solicitor Murray Aitken said McAllister had just become a dad – his girlfriend had given birth to their first child the day before his court appearance.
“He has a lot to lose,” added Mr Aitken. “He has a good job and he now has a young family to support. Ge spent four days and nights in custody and it’s something he does not wan to repeat.”
Mr Aitken said McAllister had gotten himself into financial difficulty and that was the reason he was carrying this substantial amount of drugs.
“He became involved in this to make some money. His involvement was limited to the delivery of this package and there is no suggestion of any messages or text messages on his phone about the supply or sale of drugs.”
Sheriff Christopher Shead said: “This is an offence which carries a custodial sentence – people who are concerned in the supply of drugs can expect a custodial sentence even if they have not been in trouble before.”
After hearing the circumsances, however, Sheriff Shead said a community sentence could be passed and places McAllister on a community payback order for 12 months with the condition he complete 180 hours unpaid work in that time.
He also made him subject to a restriction of liberty order, meaning McAllister must stay in his home between 7.30pm and 6.30am for the next six months.