A Dundee soldier caught dealing cocaine worth up to 47,000 has been told he could avoid jail — because of the stress he suffered during combat in Afghanistan.
George Hunt was serving as a gunner in the First Royal Horse Artillery when he began dealing the class A drug.
Just a week after he was discharged from the Army in October last year for failing a drugs test, police, acting on a tip-off, stopped him at a set of traffic lights in Dundee’s Duncan Place.
They searched his car and found a 125 gram bag of 75% purity cocaine — far stronger than the 10% pure drug commonly found on the streets.
Officers also found two kilos of a bulking agent — meaning he could have turned the substances into drugs worth up to £46,850.
Sheriff Alastair Brown told Hunt: “In your case I should start thinking in terms of a three-year sentence.
“I have heard that you have been suffering from something akin to combat stress.
“I’m aware that the UK takes decisions about the deployment of troops which places those soldiers in a stressful situation and that some suffer psychological difficulties as a result, and I’ve heard criticism made of the provision for helping with that. I’m willing to explore that issue further.”
Hunt, 23, of Helmsdale Avenue, Kirkton, pleaded guilty on indictment to being concerned in the supply of drugs in September and October last year.
Solicitor advocate Kris Gilmartin, defending, said Hunt’s last tour of duty in Afghanistan had led him to turn to drink and drugs as a coping mechanism.
He said: “His period in Afghanistan had a significant impact on him.
“Immediately on return he began binge drinking and abusing cocaine and that became an addiction. He did seek help but the addiction had a fairly strong hold of him. He failed a drugs test and was discharged from the army and was unemployed, unemployable and had no money whatsoever.
“The person who sold him drugs identified that he was vulnerable and could be used in the supply chain.”
Sheriff Brown deferred sentence until October for a psychological report and released Hunt on bail meantime.
He added: “I make you no promises, but I will defer to allow you the opportunity to pursue this and seek help and consider the matter then.”