A FATHER-of-three who stored cannabis resin in his children’s bedroom has been jailed – after admitting he “ran out of hiding places” for the massive shipment.
Police went to Graeme Stear’s West Lothian home after a tip-off and during a search of the house seized 92 kilos of the drug along with some 12 kilos of amphetamine.
And large packets of the drug were found underneath the beds of his children – as well as in hiding places around the house.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard yesterday that the drugs would have had a street value of more than £500,000.
Defence advocate Ronnie Renucci told the court that Stear, 37, had agreed to store the drugs in order to clear a debt.
But he had never expected such a huge consignment to be delivered to his door.
“He panicked and ran out of hiding places,” explained the lawyer.
When police came knocking at his door, Stear quickly admitted he was hiding drugs, saying there was “weed under the bed” and “weed in the other room.”
Advocate depute David Taylor, prosecuting, said the searching officers seized a back bag containing a number of brown bars from a bedroom occupied by two of Stear’s children, aged five and six.
They also found other packages of drugs throughout the house – in Stear’s bedroom, a kitchen cupboard and the drawer of a freezer.
Stear told questioning detectives that the drugs had been delivered to his three-bedroom flat at Mansfield Court, Bathgate, that day by two men with west coast accents.
At an earlier hearing he pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis resin and amphetamine on September 15 last year.
Stear, who Mr Renucci said had run up a debt of £600, was told he could clear it by warehousing the drugs.
“On any view these were enormous quantities of the drugs in question,” said judge Lord Uist then.
Sentencing Stear the judge commented: “Someone has lost a lot of money.”
Lord Uist added: “Fortunately the police were able to intercept the drugs and prevent them getting on to the streets.”
The court heard that Stear had to look after the children because of their mother’s health problems. He was also unable to find work after losing his job four years ago.
Mr Renucci said cannabis provided a “de-stresser”.
“It is an all too familiar and sorry story of someone who dabbles on the fringes of drug use by means of social supply but finds themselves sucked in at a much deeper level.”