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Inverness drug dealer jailed after coughing on police officers

By Ali Morrison

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An Inverness drug dealer who coughed in the faces of five police officers at the height of the coronavirus crisis has been jailed for 15 months.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that Adam Scott did not have Covid-19 and had "coughed involuntarily" after being put to the ground by the constables in Burnett Road Police Station on April 19.

Officers had seen the 35-year-old standing swaying near Gilbert Street and went to check on his welfare, fiscal depute Robert Weir told Sheriff Sara Matheson.

"He was not smelling of alcohol so police went to search him for drugs. He began to struggle violently, and after he was put to the ground, he managed to swallow a white wrap which he had taken from his pocket," Mr Weir said.

"After a hospital check that he was alright, he was taken to the custody suite where he again had to be put to the ground. He purposely coughed towards the officers, and a spit hood and restraints had to be applied."

Defence solicitor Graham Mann said: "The coughing was involuntary but he didn't try to avoid the coughing from reaching the officers. He didn't present a real and genuine risk as he was symptom free. But it was reckless."

Scott, who had been released on licence from a prison sentence just days earlier but is now a prisoner in Inverness, admitted obstructing a police drugs search and reckless conduct.

Sheriff Matheson told him: "The emergency services are entitled to the protection of the court. Due to your record and the fact you were on licence, only a custodial sentence is appropriate."

It was backdated to April 20.

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