A self-employed scaffolder claimed he returned to crime after the death of his cousin and was transporting £15,000 of cocaine to pay off debts.
Thomas Clarkson (42), also known as Sneddon, was caught with the stash of class A drug on the M9 near Grangemouth after he had been on the straight and narrow for nine years following a prison sentence.
Clarkson, 65 Hillary Road, Stenhousemuir, who had a previous conviction for a similar offence in 2008, appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday having pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of drugs on March 30, 2017.
Neil Hay, defence solicitor, said: “He had many years without any convictions on any drug matters at all until 2017. When he was in prison he was visited by his seven-year-old daughter. She was very distressed and that taught him a lesson.
“Then his cousin had died in his home – he was choking and he tried to save him. He had not been taking drugs at all and had been fit, engaging in martial arts, but as a result of his cousin’s death he tried drugs again and found himself in £6000 debt.”
Mr Hay said the transportation of the package of drugs was supposed to conclude Clarkson’s debt.
The court heard the father-of-two had used hypnotism to try and beat his cocaine addiction.
Sheriff Craig Caldwell said: “You knew it was very likely you would receive a significant custodial sentence and there is nothing in the report which persuades me this is not appropriate.
“Being involved in the supply of drugs is extremely serious and you had a very significant amount of drugs – between £14,000 and £15,000 in total.”
Sheriff Caldwell sentenced Clarkson to three years and six months in prison.