A former serviceman who suffers from post traumatic stress after a tour of duty in Iraq was jailed for four months at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday.
It was the third time in 10 years that 33-year-old George Keil, of the city’s Woodside Gardens, had been convicted of a drug driving offence.
He pleaded guilty to being in charge of the vehicle in Eastfield Way on April 9 last year and admitted his two previous similar convictions.
Fiscal depute Robert Weir said police received a report of a man sitting in his car in the car park sweating excessively with his head down.
“The keys were in the ignition but the engine was not running. When police officers arrived, he was trying to inject a syringe into his left wrist. It contained red liquid and officers thought it contained blood.
“He was arrested and examined by a doctor at Burnett Road Police Station who formed the opinion that he was under the influence of drugs.”
Defence solicitor Rory Gowans said: “My client has struggled with mental health problems since he left the RAF. He served in Iraq and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.
“He was at a low ebb at the time because he and his partner had broken up. He was self medicating and sought solace in drugs.”
Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood noted that Keil had two similar previous convictions.
Mr Gowans replied: “He doesn’t intend to drive in the foreseeable future and there is a support package in place for him thanks to New Craigs Hospital.
“A social worker has suggested that he may be suitable for a drug treatment and testing order.”
However Sheriff Fleetwood ruled that out.
He said: “What concerns me is the danger he poses to everyone else when he gets behind the wheel under the influence of drugs.”
Jailing Keil, he added; “Whilst I have sympathy for your problems, I have a duty to protect the public. Three times in the last 10 years you have driven while under the influence of drugs and that is not acceptable behaviour.”