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Police find man in Aviemore car park after discovering £15k worth of cannabis in his home in Inverness


By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court is at Inverness Justice Centre.
Inverness Sheriff Court is at Inverness Justice Centre.

An Inverness man who had almost £15,000 worth of cannabis in his home claimed he had bought it in bulk on the internet to help him cope with life.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that 32-year-old Michael Hamill had "a difficult upbringing" and had moved from abusing alcohol from the age of 16 to using up to 3.5 grams of the drug a day.

The stay-at-home father caring for four children admitted possessing the cannabis with intent to supply and was sentenced to 270 hours of unpaid work. He must also remain under social work supervision for 18 months.

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The court had previously been told that police obtained a warrant to search Hamill's home in Caledonian Road on May 1, 2022. He wasn't there and they were told he was travelling south.

The court heard that the search continued and a trace was put out for Hamill. Herbal material and other drugs paraphernalia like scales, a grinder and plastic sealed containers were found around 4pm and three hours later police located Hamill in a car park in Aviemore.

He was arrested and when charged he told police he was the owner of what was found and that he was a user.

Fiscal depute Susan Love told Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald that he said he would buy in bulk on the internet from the US.

He denied being involved in supply and he kept the cannabis in the sealed plastic containers to hide the smell when other family members were in the house.

Ms Love added: "The total weight was 1065 grams and the police report values the drugs if sold in small quantities at between £8670 and £14,995."

Defence solicitor advocate Shahid Latif told Sheriff Macdonald at the first hearing: "At the age of 16 he began taking alcohol which explain his previous convictions. He moved on to cannabis and was using up to 3.5 grams a day."

Mr Latif's colleague, Clare Russell appeared for Hamill at sentencing by Sheriff Gary Aitken who read the facts in a written narrative agreed between prosecution and defence.

She said: "He had a difficult upbringing, fell into a negative peer group and into alcohol misuse. He stopped drinking and then started to use cannabis."

Ms Russell said Hamill was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and was self-medicating with the drug which she said was "a poor decision".

She went on to say that Hamill's partner was training and studying for a career and as a stay-at-home father, "a custodial sentence would have a significant impact on her”.

Sheriff Aitken decided against imposing jail but told Hamill: "Cannabis is not some magnificent cure-all and should only be taken under medical supervision. This was a particularly poor decision."


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