A former fisherman who turned to dealing cocaine after his Fraserburgh creel vessel was written-off has been told to prove he can stay drug-free or face a lengthy prison sentence.
Gavin Buchan used his insurance payout to set himself up in the drugs trade but soon came to the attention of the police.
Officers twice seized stashes of the class A drug worth hundreds of pounds from the 39-year-old – the first by chance after they spotted a car stopped partially in a bus stop.
They pulled-up next to a silver Vauxhall Astra near the Murcar roundabout on the A90 Aberdeen to Ellon road in the early hours of September 22 last year.
Buchan had stuffed his cheeks with bags of the substance in a bid to hide them, but they tumbled out during a conversation with the officers.
He admitted supplying cocaine during a previous hearing at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, where fiscal depute Lucy Simpson explained: “The accused was struggling to speak and was being asked to repeat himself when a small white parcel fell from his mouth.
“The officer attempted to catch it and the accused bit down on his finger.
“When the accused released it, further similar white packages fell from his mouth.”
Buchan was searched and the bags, containing cocaine worth £560, and about £1,750 in cash were seized.
Two months later he had drugs worth £1,500 confiscated.
Solicitor Ian Jane said that the payout from the boat insurance claim had funded his client’s “spiral downwards”, which included a relapse into drug abuse.
He added that Buchan has not offended since.
Yesterday Sheriff Morag McLaughlin made Buchan, of Kirkton Gardens, Fraserburgh, subject to an 18-month drug treatment and testing order.
It will require him to provide eight samples per month to prove he is reducing his dependence on illicit substances.
Sheriff McLaughlin said: “You have demonstrated that you can remain free of offending and have shown commitment to turning your life around, but you do have some way to go.
“You will be very closely monitored. This is an alternative to a very substantial custodial sentence.”