Teen drug dealer escapes jail to continue university studies

Elgin teenager escapes custodial sentence for drug dealing.
Elgin teenager escapes custodial sentence for drug dealing.

A MORAY TEENAGER who was caught selling cocaine and cannabis to his school-age friends has narrowly escaped a custodial sentence.

Elliot Lees, 18, was arrested in January after his parents’ car was found abandoned at the Riverside Kitchens showroom on the outskirts of Elgin.

Police noted the strong smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle – and later pulled it over when it was spotted being driven along Sheriffmill Road. At Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday the Fiscal, David Morton, told the court that the car was stopped and the accused asked if there were controlled drugs in the vehicle.

“The accused accepted that there were – and when police searched the glove box they found tubs containing 25 sealed bags of a green herbal substance later confirmed to be cannabis,” the Fiscal told the court.

It was later confirmed that along with 37g of cannabis worth around £750, police discovered 12.8g of cannabis resin and 3g of cocaine. Lees’ mobile phone was seized and later revealed over 2000 messages connected with the buying and selling of drugs.

Lees, a former Elgin Academy pupil, admitted being concerned in the supply of a class A drug between December 1, 2015 and January 29, 2016, as well as supplying cannabis and cannabis resin between May 27, 2015 and January 29.

Speaking in his defence, solicitor Iain Maltman pointed out his client was a first offender, adding that the was a “bright young man with real prospects” who was currently doing well at university. He added: “A custodial sentence would destroy his university career and detract from his ability to contribute to society.”

Conceding that had he been any older Lees would have gone to prison for over a year, Sheriff Chris Dickson accepted that there was a “lack of maturity” at the time of his offending.

Lees was ordered to undertake 300 hours of unpaid work and must remain inside his parents’ home in Elgin between 7pm and 7am for the entirety of the forthcoming Christmas, Spring and Summer breaks.