A “CRIMINALLY stupid” Bonhill man has been slammed by a sheriff – and by his own solicitor – after he turned to the illegal drugs trade as a purely money-making exercise.

Police raided Darren Hutchison’s home in Main Street last September and found a quantity of cocaine worth more than £500, along with almost £7,000 in cash.

The 31-year-old appeared for sentencing at Dumbarton Sheriff Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to a charge of being concerned in the supply of cocaine at his home address on September 13 last year.

Sentence was deferred until Friday for background reports to be prepared.

Meghan Glancey, prosecuting, told the court: “Police executed a search warrant at the accused’s home at 6pm and recovered 15.5 grams of cocaine with a street value of £560.

“They also recovered £6,850 in cash, 152 grams of white powder which tested negative for controlled drugs, and a spoon with traces of cocaine.

“These clearly indicated to police the accused’s involvement in the supply of cocaine.”

Before asking Hutchison’s lawyer to submit a plea in mitigation, Sheriff Maxwell Hendry, noting the comments in a social work report on Hutchison’s financial circumstances, said: “Mr Hutchison has an income many people would be envious of, and he goes into this as a ‘commercial enterprise’, simply to make more money.”

Hutchison’s solicitor told the court: “This was foolhardy and, frankly, stupid conduct, which he accepts.

“He has endangered his family, and he understands that – I genuinely don’t think I have ever met a more remorseful man.

“He understands that jail will be uppermost in the court’s mind, and he understands the devastating effect that would have on his family, their capability of remaining in the home he has worked hard to provide, and his capability for remaining in his job.

“He has beat himself up for being so stupid as to get involved in this.”

Sheriff Hendry told Hutchison: “When I read this report my reaction was one of complete disbelief at how criminally stupid you have been.

“You deliberately chose to become involved in the supply of a class A drug which causes misery to many who produce, transport and take it, and you did this simply to make more money.

“I did consider sending you to prison, but I take into account the effect that would have on you and, more particularly, on your family.”

Instead of jail, Hutchison was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within nine months, reduced from 250 hours because of his plea of guilty to the charge.

Sheriff Hendry warned him: “If you don’t do what you’re told, you will appear before me again.”