Deportation fear after T in the Park drug bust

Duncan Purvis was caught with drugs at T in the Park. Pic: Toby Williams
Duncan Purvis was caught with drugs at T in the Park. Pic: Toby Williams
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A YOUNG tradesman from Edinburgh faces losing his career and being booted out of Australia after being caught with less than half a gram of drugs at T in the Park.

Duncan Purvis’ future plans lay in tatters yesterday (TUES) after he admitted having ecstasy with a street value of just ten pounds at the music festival.

A court was told Purvis would be sent home 12,000 miles to the UK after getting a conviction for an incident which happened before he moved to Australia.

Solicitor Emma Todd begged Perth Sheriff Court to give Purvis an absolute discharge so he would have no criminal conviction on his record and could stay in Perth, Australia.

But Sheriff Mark Stewart rejected the plea and said it would be unfair to other offenders to give Purvis a different sentence because he lived abroad.

Miss Todd told the court that tradesman Purvis had left his Edinburgh home to go travelling and find work because he had struggled to establish a career in Scotland.

She said he had picked up a labouring job in Australia and had been so highly-rated by his employer that they had recently promoted him.

Miss Todd said the Australian company was also keen to pay to sponsor a long-term visa for Purvis - at considerable expense - so he could remain employed with them for the next three years.

However, she said: “He went on a working visa about three weeks after this incident to find work and some sort of career. He has always worked in the UK but found it difficult to get an apprenticeship.

“His visa was due to expire at the end of July. He has recently been promoted to supervisor. His employer wishes to keep him on and will sponsor him for the next three and a half years.

“Sponsorship costs a significant amount of money. He advised his employer about this outstanding matter. He accepts he was in possession of the drug.

“It was absolutely reckless and he deeply regrets it. It was a one off. He has no other convictions. I ask the court to take the unusual step of granting absolute discharge.

“He does not have long left in Australia and if he wishes to stay on a criminal conviction will not allow that to happen. That will result in him coming back to the UK to try and find work.”

Sheriff Stewart said: “I have every sympathy for his difficulty and it is very unfortunate that, prior to finding employment and a change of lifestyle in Australia, he has committed this offence.

“But the problem with drugs at large gatherings such as music festivals is something which has to be discouraged and this court has to take a firm view of drug abuse.

“I sympathise with the difficulties this will cause. However, it may be slightly unfair to single out Mr Purvis from others who face exactly the same difficulties in this country.

“In the circumstances it would not be appropriate to single out Mr Purvis above others who have similarly found themselves convicted of drug offending through a single act of folly.” Purvis was fined 170 pounds.

Purvis, 21, Colinton Mains Crescent, Edinburgh, admitted possessing ecstasy at T in the Park in Balado, Kinross, on 13 July last year.