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Man found with £1,000 cocaine haul claims he was just ‘holding it’ for relative

Neilson Harris outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court.  
Picture by Chris Sumner.
Neilson Harris outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Picture by Chris Sumner.

A man who was found with nearly £1,000 worth of cocaine in his pockets was just “holding it” for a relative, a court has heard.

Neilson Harris appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted being in possession of almost 50 wraps of the Class A drug.

The drugs were discovered when he was taken into custody by police and they searched him.

The 21-year-old told the court that he had chosen to “hold” the drugs for a relative over fears that they might get in trouble.

His solicitor described Harris’ decision as “bizarre logic”.

Harris pleaded guilty to one charge of being concerned in the supply of cocaine on Great Northern Road, Aberdeen on October 12 last year.

A ‘simply bizarre’ excuse

Fiscal depute Rebecca Thompson told the court that Harris was found to have 49 wraps of cocaine in his pockets, estimated to be worth around £980.

She said: “The accused was brought into police custody on an unrelated matter.

“At that time, wraps containing white substance were found to be in the accused’s possession together with a quantity of money and a mobile phone.

“It was examined and the accused was thereafter charged in relation to the offence libelled.”

Defence agent Neil McRobert described Harris’ position as to why he had the drugs in his possession as “simply bizarre”.

He told the court: “Mr Harris told the police who the drugs belonged to and how they came to be in his possession, but admits to the offence libelled.

“His position has been from the outset is that his relative had a drug debt and was being threatened.

“Mr Harris’ bizarre logic is that he didn’t want to see his relative being found in possession of a controlled drug so he offered to take them from him and hold them for him.

“Given his previous convictions, this put him in a very precarious position.”

‘You have expressed regret about your poor judgement’

Sheriff Lesley Johnston told Harris: “This is a serious matter before the court today.

“It would have been open to the court to impose a custodial sentence.

“You have some previous convictions, including analogous convictions and you are currently subject to a community payback order.

“However, you were clearly under the influence of drugs at the time and you have expressed regret about your poor judgement.”

As an alternative to a prison sentence, Sheriff Johnston imposed a six-month restriction of liberty order on Harris, of Claremont Street, Aberdeen.

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