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Former oil worker caught with £200,000 worth of cocaine

Ian Matthews turned to a life of crime after losing his job and getting into debt.

Glasgow: Ian Matthews and Thomas Cairns were jailed.
Glasgow: Ian Matthews and Thomas Cairns were jailed. Pixabay / Google 2018

A former oil worker has been jailed after he was caught with £200,000 worth of cocaine.

Ian Matthews, 37, was said to have turned to a life of crime after losing his job and getting into debt.

Matthews was caught by police handing over the drugs to co-accused Thomas Cairns, 54, in Tollcross, Glasgow, in July last year.

When analysed, the cocaine was found to have a purity of 82%. Both men then admitted being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug.

Matthews, of Paisley, Renfrewshire, was jailed for more than three years. First offender Cairns, from Glasgow, was jailed for three and a half years.

On Thursday, Judge Lord Burns told the pair: "You both pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug, cocaine, over one day. It was a substantial amount with a high purity."

The High Court in Glasgow heard that former off-shore electrician Matthews got into debt and agreed to courier the drug.

'You acted as a courier to pay off debts. You knowingly participated'
Judge Lord Burns

Lord Burns told Matthews: "You acted as a courier to pay off debts. You knowingly participated.

"I am told you have the prospect of employment on your release from prison and it is all the more tragic you involved yourself in something of this magnitude."

The judge then told Cairns that his involvement in the enterprise was greater than Matthews'.

Cairns' defence counsel Paul Nelson said: "He became involved after he had no money to pay his rent or feed himself."

Police saw Matthews drive up in an Audi car, stop and hand over a bag to Cairns, who was chatting on his phone.

Cairns was stopped outside his nearby flat minutes later. The cocaine was found wrapped in packages inside the bag.

Police seized a number of drug-related items from Cairns' home including cash, scales and 'tick" lists.

'His habit continued with no income to pay for it. His debt level spiralled out of control'
Defence counsel Jennifer Bain

Defence counsel Jennifer Bain, representing Matthews, said her client "had no previous connection" to Cairns nor any links to where the handover occurred.

Ms Bain added: "At the time, he was a recreational user of cocaine. He then lost his job at the downturn in the industry.

"His habit continued with no income to pay for it. His debt level spiralled out of control.

"He was asked to deliver a package and told he would receive a payment towards his debt."

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