Craigneuk man found with cocaine will not be jailed

A man found in the street with cocaine worth £7,000 will not be sent to prison - but will wear an electronic tag instead.

Friday, 6th March 2020, 11:21 am

Darren Phillips claimed he was only doing a neighbour a favour when he dropped a bag in a Mercedes Sprinter van.

Plain clothes officers moved in and seized the cocaine after watching Phillips, 38, of Glencairn Avenue, from their unmarked vehicle.

At Hamilton Sheriff Court, he admitted having the Class A drug with intent to supply others on May 25.

Sheriff Ray Small ordered Phillips to do 180 hours of unpaid community work.

He will also be electronically tagged for four months, meaning he’s confined to the house between 8.30pm and 6am each day.

Wendy McAdam, prosecuting, said Phillips was seen to walk towards the van and put something inside.

She told the court: “Officers spoke to him and immediately he appeared nervous. They found £945 in mixed notes in his pocket.”

Defence agent Tom Watters said his client’s possession of the cocaine was “fleeting, lasting only seconds”.

He explained: “He was going about his normal business when a neighbour, who is famous for his behaviour, asked him for a lift to Wishaw Cross.

“Mr Phillips agreed and the neighbour then asked him to put this bag in the van which he did.

“It might well be those plain clothes officers had an interest in someone other than my client.”

The court heard that Phillips’s home was searched after his arrest and “nothing of evidential value was found”.

Mr Watters added: “His position is that the money seized was lawfully his, won by him at the bookmakers in the days previous.”

Phillips wants the money back and is fighting a move to have it confiscated.