A would-be rapist was today jailed for more than three years after he turned to heroin dealing because he ran up a massive poker debt.
William Bannon – who has two previous convictions for attempted rape – served a 12-year jail sentence for an horrific sex attack on a teenage girl.
He was released more than 10 years ago and returned to his home in Dundee.
But last year he ran up a massive gambling debt playing poker and found himself owing cash to drug dealers.
His lawyer said that led to him being “threatened with violence” before allowing his house to be used for drug dealing.
Fiscal depute Saima Rasheed told Dundee Sheriff Court that police raided the property in Dundee’s Strathmartine Road on December 27 last year.
She said: “Officers searched the property and found plastic bags containing diamorphine.
“The weight was 275.95 grams with a maximum street value of £13,790.”
Bannon, 52, of Strathmartine Road, Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of being concerned in the suply of diamorphine and possessing cannabis at his flat on December 27 last year.
Defence solicitor Jim Caird told the court: “He is not someone who would use diamorphine in any way but he has an interest in poker and ended up with a debt arising from that.
“He was bullied and threatened if he didn’t avail his own house to the storage of these items.
“He knows the seriousness of the matter but he was under threats of violence at the time.”
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael jailed Bannon for 38 months, reduced from four years for his early guilty plea.
He said: “I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no alternative but a custodial sentence due to the nature of this crime.
“Dundee recently had twice the number of average UK drug deaths, the majority caused by heroin.
“It is a blight on the city and something has to be done about it.”
Bannon served a lengthy jail sentence after he was convicted in 1999 of a horror sex attack on a 17-year-old girl in Dundee.
He had only been released from prison for a violent assault six months before the attack.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard he had followed the girl before as she walked home alone at night after a visit to her sister, and the teenager, who became increasingly uncomfortable, changed her route.
But Bannon, a divorced father of three, pounced on her from behind and put his hand over her mouth and told her to shut up. He forced her into shrubbery where he ordered her to face a wall.
Miss McMenamin said that the girl was subjected to an ordeal that lasted at least an hour, during which Bannon repeatedly handled her breasts and private parts, made her kneel and perform oral sex acts and threatened her with violence.
Advocate depute Francis McMenamin said Bannon tried to rape the teenager, but was unable to achieve an erection, adding: “It was only for that reason that she was not actually raped.”
He was identified by police after dropping his wallet at the scene.