A BALLOCH cocaine dealer whose drugs were seized by police has avoided “street law”, a court has heard.

Andrew Tait, of Miller Road, Haldane, previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine from a self-storage container at the Alexandria Boat and Caravan Yard in the town’s Wilson Street.

The 26-year-old was caught on May 26, 2020.

A court hearing last week was told Tait has a previous conviction for being involved in the supply of controlled drugs.

But he was spared a jail term after a judge was told Tait has recently become a father.

At Dumbarton Sheriff Court on July 7, Tait’s solicitor Scott Adair said there were other vehicles going to the storage unit for use, and his client had allowed other people to use it.

“But he was fully aware of what it was being used for,” said Mr Adair.

He said his client had also sought help from his GP for mental health issues.

“There was a removal of himself from the area he was in,” said the solicitor. “He has not been approached by anyone.

"As far as he is concerned, that matter is at an end.

“‘Street law’, if I can put it that way, has not been dealt to him.”

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry replied: “I will raise my eyebrows to that and move on.”

Mr Adair insisted: “He has nothing owed in that regard.”

Sheriff Hendry told Tait: “What you accepted was you were a cog in the machine that churns out drugs and sends them out to members of the public.

“The machine needs all of the cogs to work.”

The sheriff said Tait “allowed, encouraged and enabled” the drug trade in the area.

He noted the social work report on Tait mentioned the criminal’s family situation and said: “Your family needs you. You should have thought about that before.”

Although Sheriff Hendry decided not to jail Tait, he said a third such offence would be likely to see him locked up.

Tait was put on a community payback order (CPO) with 18 months of supervision by social workers.

He was also told to do 300 hours of unpaid community work – the maximum allowed – by July 2022.

The sheriff told him the only discount for his guilty plea was not going to jail for the offence.

Tait was also handed a six month curfew from 7pm to 7am -– and was warned any breach of the CPO would likely see the order revoked and him being sent to jail.