Ex-soldier avoids jail for dealing cocaine in his Highland barracks

Nathan Jeans-Bawden
Nathan Jeans-Bawden

A former soldier who dealt cocaine to fellow servicemen in his Army barracks escaped a jail sentence yesterday.

Nathan Jeans-Bawden was dishonourably discharged from serving with the Royal Regiment of Scotland based at Fort George after police raided his quarters in March last year.

Over £2,000 worth of the class A narcotic was found – not in his room, but in the console of his car. In total, there was 21.6 grams.

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When officers showed the 25-year-old their search warrant, he volunteered the information that the drugs were in his car, Inverness Sheriff Court was told yesterday.

Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood added that his mobile phone was also seized.

Jeans-Bawden admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs on March 1, 2018 and was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid community work as an alternative to prison.

But Sheriff Gary Aitken warned him he would go to jail if he didn’t complete the order properly within nine months.

Defence solicitor Willie Young told the court that his client, who still lives in Arderseir near the historic 18th century military fortress, that he was a private and had served his country since 2011.

He confirmed that the ex-military man had previous convictions, but for road traffic offences and nothing similar involving drugs.

Mr Young added: “As a consequence of this offence, he was discharged. Since then he has got a new job. But at the time of committing this, he had financial difficulties and became involved in drugs.

“Within a short time, he was prevailed upon by his dealer to take a larger amount and he distributed it to room-mates.

“This was not a large commercial enterprise and was still in its infancy. He saw it as a means to make a little bit of extra money and to satisfy his own use of the drug.

“He deeply regrets this and his contrition is genuine. It was a serious error of judgement.” Mr Young went on.