A former city council PR consultant who went on to work for the mayor of Greater Manchester has been fined £300 for possessing class A drugs in his home.
Paul Gilfeather, who lost his job working for Andy Burnham this week after his crimes came to light, was found with heroin and cocaine at his house on Stanley Street on June 28 last year.
The 46-year-old admitted the offence by letter last month and appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday to be sentenced.
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Fiscal depute Katie Murray revealed the crime came to light after a drugs search warrant was granted.
She added that the cocaine had no real value and the heroin, weighing a gram, was worth £50.
The court heard his only previous convictions were for road traffic matters.
Representing Gilfeather, defence agent Gregor Kelly revealed the devastating impact that the conviction has had on his client.
He said: “Last year he was struggling with depression and anxiety and had sourced a very small amount of drugs. He accepts they are Class A drugs.
“After a long period of unemployment he had secured an excellent job.
“As a result of this and perceived reputational damage he was dismissed.
“It was a job he obtained after three interviews.
“He will need to pick himself up and obtain employment, it will be difficult with this on his record.”
He added that two men of “some reputation in Aberdeen” had provided letters testifying to Gilfeather’s character and also asked the low value, the early plea and the lack of similar previous convictions to be taken into account.
Imposing a sentence, Sheriff Eric Brown said: “You pleaded guilty to these two charges both of which relate to class A drugs.
“The consequences of your convictions on these charges including the loss of your employment goes far beyond the financial penalty I will impose.”
Gilfeather declined to make any comment outside court.