Bricklayer jailed after being found with over £120k worth of coke in his house

A bricklayer caught with cocaine worth £122,000 in his Holytown home was jailed for 18 months on Thursday.

Kenneth Burns claimed he agreed to store the Class A drug to pay off a debt.

He said he owed £10,000 to a man known only as ‘Chuck’ and was looking for “a quick way out”.

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Burns, of Park Avenue in the town, admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine at his home in October 2019.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard police officers seized a block of cocaine weighing nearly a kilo and a bag containing almost 200g of the drug in powdered form.

Traces of cocaine were found on scales, a blender, sieve, plate and spoon in the kitchen.

Abby Seal, prosecuting, said: “The accused told police he’d accrued a £10,000 drug debt to a male named ‘Chuck’ approximately six months earlier.

“He had agreed to allow his home to be used for storing controlled drugs to assist paying back the debt.

“It was a quick way out. He gave ‘Chuck’ a key to the property.”

Defence agent Diarmid Bruce pointed out the 36-year-old dad of one had no significant record.

He is a self-employed bricklayer, with two apprentices, and is “highly thought of”.

Mr Bruce told the court: “He had some difficulties in his life that led to depression and anxiety.

“He started using drugs and, unfortunately, ran up debts.

“Pressure was brought to bear because of the money he owed. He says he was caught between a rock and a hard place.

“He made the wrong decision and it’s been disastrous for him.”

Mr Bruce said Burns has been in no trouble since and urged Sheriff Thomas Millar to consider a non-custodial sentence.

Sheriff Millar said the value of the cocaine meant jail was the only option, but reduced the sentence from two years because of his guilty plea.

He told Burns: “Drugs, it seems, have ruined your life and the cocaine in this case had the capacity to ruin many others.

“You involved yourself willingly and have to pay the price.”

The sheriff confiscated £710 found during the police search.

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