A MAN caught with a supplier quantity of heroin at a flat in North Drumry tried to claim he had no intention of making money from the drug – even though police found scales and a tick list along with the class A substance on a raid of the property.

James Donaldson, 48, of Peel View, appeared in court on Friday for sentencing on a charge of possession with intent to supply diamorphine at the Duncombe View flat on February 21 this year.

Sentence had been deferred, following Donaldson’s guilty plea at an earlier hearing, to allow time for social workers to prepare a background report.

But the content of that report prompted a sheriff to cast doubt on Donaldson’s version of events.

At Dumbarton Sheriff Court, Sheriff Maxwell Hendry said: “He tells the author of the report he planned to use it for personal use and for friends, and he did not intend to charge anyone any money.

“I was told 13.9 grams was found, with a value of £450. But there were scales and a tick list found as well.

“That casts doubt in my mind as to his credibility.”

The sheriff also noted from the background report that Donaldson has 33 previous criminal convictions and had served time in prison.

Solicitor Derek Buchanan, who appeared on Donaldson’s behalf at Friday’s hearing, said he understood there had been discussions between prosecutors and Donaldson’s lawyer which led to Donaldson’s version of events being accepted.

He added: “During interview he explained he would share those drugs with friends who attended at his house.”

Mr Buchanan said: “He has spent a period of time in custody, and the pattern which emerges is that while in custody, matters improve, but on release we effectively start back at square one.

“He understands that the court would be justified in imposing a further period in custody. But that has been tried on a number of occasions, and the long-term benefit of that is likely to be negligible at best.

“He tells me that he is effectively tired of the revolving door.”

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Sheriff Hendry said he would allow Donaldson to be assessed for a drug treatment and testing order (DTTO) as a punishment.

But he added: “At the moment I entertain a healthy scepticism as to whether you are actually prepared to commit to what is involved.”

Donaldson will return to court, following the DTTO assessment, on November 8.

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