A drug courier who was caught with cocaine worth nearly £200,000 on the streets of a Perthshire village claimed to police that he was acting with a “gun to his head”.
Charles Dewar, 63, was stopped by officers driving back from Newcastle to Scotland and found to have two kilos of the Class A drug on October 28 last year.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that when he was arrested over the drugs he said: “I will take full responsibility.”
Advocate depute Steven Borthwick said that during a subsequent interview with officers Dewar indicated that in January last year he had “lost something which did not belong to him” which meant he had “140,000” reasons to then do as he was told by persons he refused to name.
Dewar said he had left Perth in the morning to drive to a pre-arranged meeting in Newcastle and claimed that he was told he would be collecting bars of cannabis resin.
Mr Borthwick said: “The accused stated that on arrival at a certain street in Newcastle, he had stopped the vehicle and had been approached by an unknown male whom he had never met before.
“This male opened the rear door of his vehicle and deposited a package under the rear seat.”
The prosecutor added: “The accused stated he is merely a mule, who acted under duress having a ‘gun to his head’, believing he was only collecting cannabis resin.”
Dewar claimed that he believed he was to receive 100g of cannabis and to get fuel money as payment for the trip.
The advocate depute said that police had earlier received intelligence stating that Dewar’s vehicle, a Ford Fusion Zetec, was travelling to England to pick up a large quantity of cocaine and return with it to Perth,
The car was spotted by police on the A977 Kincardine to Kinross road and was stopped by officers at Glenfarg. A police drugs search dog drew attention to the rear seat and the cocaine was found beneath it.
The drugs were sealed up inside carrier bags. A black plastic layer in the wrapping was labelled “TMT THE MONEY TEAM” and the cocaine blocks were stamped “TMT”.
Expert drugs officers said the total potential street value for the haul of cocaine was £199,800.
Dewar, of Newhouse Road, Perth, admitted being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug on October 28 at the M90 Edinburgh to Perth road at Glenfarg, at Newcastle and elsewhere.
Defence counsel Tony Lenehan said the first offender had health problems and was subject to extensive medical investigations.
The judge, Lord Arthurson, told Dewar that he had pleaded guilty to “an extremely serious offence” involving a significant amount of Class A drugs.
He adjourned sentence until next month for the preparation of a background report and agreed to continue bail for Dewar.
But Lord Arthurson told him: “The most likely disposal will be a significant custodial one.”