Drug dealer avoids jail sentence

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A drug dealer whose stash was discovered after a seven-year-old put an ecstasy tablet in his mouth mistaking it for a sweet, has avoided jail.

Dean Shaw’s pills left the boy moments from “absolutely catastrophic consequences” - with the child only spitting it out because it “didn’t taste nice”.

Shaw was facing a lengthy jail term - but instead was handed a community sentence and an electronic tag.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that a handful of class A ecstasy pills inadvertently ended up in a carrier bag containing an iPad at his home in Arbroath.

That was then taken away by a woman and put on her kitchen table.

Her son, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went to play with the iPad and found the stash - and popped one of the yellow, strawberry shaped tablets into his mouth.

But fortunately the youngster spat it out because “it didn’t taste nice”.

He went off to play before his mother then entered the kitchen and found the pills strewn across the table.

Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court: “She thought they were sweets and noted there were some left in the shopping bag.

“She asked the child about the sweets and he said they were not sweets as he had put one in his mouth and it didn’t taste nice so he spat it out.”

Knowing the bag had been in Shaw’s home she contacted him.

Miss Bell added: “He didn’t know why the tablets were there and stated they were ecstasy.

“The child was taken to Arbroath Minor Injuries Unit and observed but didn’t have any symptoms of ingesting the tablets.

“Police were contacted and the accused’s address was searched.”

Officers found £3691 in cash, cocaine worth up to £9600 on the street and 28 ecstasy tablets worth £10 each.

The prosecutor added: “He told police he didn’t know how the tablets got in the bag.

“He said the only explanation was that he had had a party and when people left someone had put them there because they didn’t want to take them into the street.”

Shaw, 27, of Catherine Street, Arbroath, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possessing ecstasy on August 15 last year.

Shaw wiped away tears in the dock as defence solicitor John Hall said: “He profoundly and profusely apologises for this.

“It is not lost on him that there could have been absolutely catastrophic consequences.

“The boy came very close to suffering the ill effects.

“Had it not been for the apparently bad taste he could have suffered absolutely catastrophic consequences.

“He is fully aware that the likely outcome of this case will be a period of custody.”

Mr Hall added: “He has no previous convictions of any description.

“He is a self-employed jewellery designer.

“He previously produced reasonably sought after items of jewellery but has been unable to recently because of a cocaine addiction.

“He was supplying at a lesser level to four or five people who were well known to him.

“This was not bringing him in money - it was simply to allow him to feed his habit.”

Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC imposed a community payback order with 300 hours unpaid work and two years supervision.

Shaw was also placed on a restriction of liberty order confining him to his home address on an electronic tag for eight months from 7pm until 7am daily.

Sheriff Drummond QC said: “It is a serious matter - I don’t have to remind you of that.

“Especially in combination with the other offence given the circumstances putting the child at risk.”