Schoolboys fall ill after selling lawnmower for Valium

Drugs: David Scougall answered a Gumtree advert. Picture: Contributed
Drugs: David Scougall answered a Gumtree advert. Picture: Contributed
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THREE young schoolboys were rushed to hospital after a drug dealer gave them a bag of Valium in exchange for a lawnmower they were selling on the Gumtree website.

The boys, two 12-year-olds and a 15-year-old, had downed the dangerous pills after teenager David Scougall had handed them over as a swap for the mower.

All three youngsters had to spend a night in the Sick Kids hospital last July after suffering symptoms including fainting and sickness.

Scougall appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to culpably and recklessly supplying a quantity of Valium in exchange for a lawnmower.

The 17-year-old, who lived in Loanhead at the time but has since moved to Norfolk to live with his father, was sentenced to an 18-month supervision order.

Scougall and the boys had contacted each other through the Gumtree trading website after the 15-year-old boy had placed an advert as he had a lawnmower for sale.

But when he and his 12-year-old friend arrived at Scougall’s flat the boys were told he had no cash to buy the mower but instead he would give them 40 Valium tablets in exchange.

The court was told Scougall knew the boys from school and claimed he believed the 12-year-old to be older than he was.

The two boys then met up with another 12-year-old in a local park and all three began taking handfuls of the dangerous drug.

Depute fiscal Lewis Crosbie told the court: “The witnesses and the accused knew each other and there had been contact between the pair on social media. The 15-year-old said he intended to sell a lawnmower to the accused and the sale was discussed on social media.

“The two boys made their way to the accused’s home address but he told them he had no cash and instead would give them ‘40 vallys’. The boys agreed to the deal and passed on the lawnmower.”

Mr Lewis said the two boys then began taking the blue tablets while waiting for a bus and then met up with the second 12-year-old boy.

All three then consumed more of the dangerous drug in a local park and the three boys soon became unwell and started to vomit.

A concerned member of the public then called the police after spotting the 15-year-old whom he thought was intoxicated. The boy was then taken to the Sick Kids by his mother after finally admitting to have taken the tablets.

Police officers then tracked down the other two and they were both rushed into the hospital with one said to be in a semi-conscious state.

During a subsequent police interview Scougall said he had told the boys not to take too many of the tablets.

His solicitor told the court her client had bought the tablets online after researching pills that would help him sleep.

She added Scougall would take two of the pills each night and that he did not know exactly what they were.

In sentencing, Sheriff Fiona Reith said she was satisfied a CPO of 18 months was appropriate.

newsen@edinburghnews.com