A drug dealer who was left £250,000 in inheritance spent about £90,000 on crack cocaine as part of a criminal enterprise to flood the north-east with the deadly substance.
Gary Blanchett was jailed for nearly three years when he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday.
The court heard that the 51-year-old had been living with his father in the months leading up to the older man’s death.
His father was said to be a “positive influence” on Blanchett, who went off the rails when he died in 2018 and became involved with drugs.
After receiving £250,000 in inheritance, he spent a portion on a house and an estimated £90,000 on Class A substances to be sold by others from his flat in Ruthrieston Circle while he stayed in his dad’s old home.
Defence lawyer, John Hardie, said his client found himself with “so much money he didn’t know what to do with it”, and therefore “price wasn’t an issue” when it came to purchasing copious supplies of the illegal substance.
Blanchett came to the attention of the police when he began allowing another man to stay at his own flat, from where the drugs were sold, while he occupied his dad’s house.
Officers launched a search of the flat that September and seized the substances.
Police recovered almost £4,000 of cocaine from the property – some of which Blanchett admitted to being concerned in the supply of.
Mr Hardie said his client recognised he was at “significant” risk of receiving a custodial sentence and had arrived at court fearing the worst.
Blanchett was said to have spent most of his time with his father, who had been a “positive influence in his life” until he died in the summer of 2018, leaving him without sufficient support to stay on the right side of the law.
“At the time of this offence, he was staying at his father’s house,” Mr Hardie said.
“He was buying a great deal of crack cocaine and those who he was buying it from became aware that he had the money to buy it.
“He was asked if someone could use his flat as a favour to a friend – that person then became of interest to the police.”
Mr Hardie added: “Price wasn’t an issue for him. He had so much money he didn’t know what to do with it.”
The court heard that Blanchett had suffered from health issues all of his life and struggled with drug addiction in the past.
His solicitor pointed out that a psychiatrist report had highlighted he was “susceptible to suggestion”, among other things.
Sheriff Graham Buchanan noted that Blanchett had a similar conviction for dealing drugs on his record from 30 months earlier.
He said: “Obviously I have listened to what has been said on your behalf by Mr Hardie and I do recognise that you do have certain difficulties, that is beyond dispute.
“Your guilty plea recognises that you played a role in supplying drugs, the quantity of which found by the police had a maximum street value of almost £4,000.”
Blanchett was sentenced to 35 months behind bars.