Man caught with £300,000 of cocaine on A95 by Boat of Garten
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A man caught with £300,000 of cocaine asked for bail so he could spent the next month preparing his young daughter for him having to go to prison.
Bryan Collum (34) was arrested after police found him transporting large amounts of the drug between Airdrie, Lanarkshire, and the north of Scotland.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how officers stopped Collum when he was driving a white Seat Leon on the A95 road in Drumuillie by Boat of Garten on July 21, last year.
They found coke in the vehicle which specialist drugs squad officers reckoned had a maximum street value of £300,000 and he was taken into custody.
Defence advocate Kenneth Cloggie made a successful submission today for Collum to have his bail continued.
He spoke shortly after his client pleaded guilty to being involved in the supply of cocaine and cannabis.
Mr Cloggie told judge Lord Weir that whilst Collum accepted that he would go to prison, sentence would have to be deferred for the court to obtain a report about the accused’s background.
Mr Cloggie said that bail would help Collum, of Airdrie, Lanarkshire, prepare his child in the five weeks before he is sentenced next month at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The counsel added: “His daughter has been told that her father’s going to go to the High Court and in time he’s not going to come back.
“It is for that reason that Mr Collum asks for his bail to be continued.
"It will give him and his wife all the opportunities they need so they can prepare their daughter.”
Mr Cloggie spoke moments after prosecutor David Logan outlined the circumstances of Collum’s offending to Lord Weir.
Mr Logan told the court that two Police Scotland officers were on mobile patrol in an unmarked car in the Inverness-shire area on the morning of July 21 2022.
Top brass then instructed the pair to keep a look out for a white Seat Leon which they believed was involved in drug supply.
After seeing the car, the officers pulled Collum over and found three bags of cocaine in a Nike bag in a passenger footwell.
They also found an iPhone which belonged to Collum.
Specialist officers then assessed the value of cocaine and found if it was divided into gram deals, dealers could have netted themselves between £240,000 and £300,000 worth of cash.
Mr Logan also told the court that officers examined Collum’s phone and found that he had been communicating with a man called 'Chubba'.
Speaking about the incriminating evidence found on Collum’s handset, Mr Logan said: “The messages relate to drugs supply and it appears that Chubba is directing the accused and others to courier drugs or carry out smaller drug deals.
“Messages contain guides to prices for various deals and references to travelling to Elgin as well as Airdrie, EK – presumably East Kilbride – and other places around Scotland.
“The messages date from May 27 2022 to July 2022.
“There are notes stored in the phone detailing prices for various sizes of deals. It appears that the accused was involved in the supply of various street deal amounts of cocaine.
“There are images of what appears to be packages of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Some of these related to cannabis and it appears that the accused was involved in the supply of cannabis over the same time frame.
“There is a Google search on July 21 2023 at 8.57am for Glasgow to Elgin scenic route.”
Collum made no comment when he was interviewed by police at Burnett Road Police Station in Inverness. He later appeared in private at the city’s sheriff court.
The court heard that Collum had no previous convictions.
Mr Cloggie told the court that his client had been a weekend user of cocaine before he became involved in criminality.
Lord Weir deferred sentence to obtain a Criminal Justice Social Work Report which will detail Collum’s background and personal circumstances.
Continuing Collum’s bail, Lord Weir made reference to the submission made to him by Mr Cloggie.
He added: “You are under no illusion to the seriousness of the situation that you find yourself in. However, I am required to obtain a background report before I can proceed to sentence.
“It is plainly in your interests to co-operate with this report and to keep out of trouble.”
Collum, who came to court with female relatives, will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on August 14.