Attempt to save his nephew from drugs gang backfires

Lanark Sheriff Court Hope Street, Lanark
Lanark Sheriff Court Hope Street, Lanark

An uncle’s cross-border attempt to prevent a drugs gang taking revenge on his nephew ended with him in the dock of Lanark Sheriff Court on Thursday - on drugs charges.

The court heard that it was a minor traffic offence at Douglas’ Happendon Services which led to police uncovering the large cache of herbal cannabis and the amphetamines 33-year-old Carl Taylor was carrying in his vehicle on May 15 last year.

Appearing from custody for sentence, Taylor, of 32 Croft Street, Great Harwood, Blackburn, had come north of the border after a nephew had “become heavily involved in the drugs scene” in Lanarkshire and had found himself in debt to a drug gang, his solicitor said.

Fearing for his young relative’s safety, Taylor had come to a “settlement” with the gang, which included him purchasing drugs from them, including a large bag of herbal cannabis. Although the Crown estimated its worth as being in four figures, Taylor insisted he’d only given the gang a few hundred pounds for the haul, the drugs being of a low quality.

He had no intention of selling it on when he got home, the solicitor insisted, but intended to smoke it himself.

Taylor had been travelling home to England with the cache when he stopped at Happendon Services near Douglas to fill up with petrol.

He didn’t notice a ‘No Entry’ sign as he drew into the station and a passing police patrol spotted this and went to question him and charge him with the minor traffic offence. The officers then found Taylor had been driving without insurance and a check of his vehicle then uncovered the drugs.

The solicitor said that Taylor had no previous record and once had run his own successful business until the recession ruined it.

The solicitor went on: “His partner has travelled to Lanark today to see him being sentenced. She is disgusted he got himself involved in this matter and he now realises he made a huge error in judgement and a huge mistake.”

Sheriff Pattison told Taylor that his had been a serious offence but “on the tiniest of margins” would not jail him. He would, instead, impose a series of non-custodial sentences as a direct alternative to custody.

The sheriff went on to admonish Taylor on the traffic sign offence but disqualified him from driving for a year and fined him £250 for the lack of insurance.

On the main drugs charges the sheriff ordered him to carry out 300 hours of community work and imposed a 10 month home night curfew.