A TULLIBODY man came within a whisker of prison after being convicted of drug dealing last week.

Paul McParland was caught by traffic cops with cannabis in his car on November 2, 2015.

However, as prosecutors accepted the idea that the accused had only been supplying the Class B drug to known “associates” he was spared a jail term.

The 38-year-old appeared at Alloa Sheriff Court on Thursday, July 6, for sentencing.

Fiscal depute Susannah Hutchison said the offence took place at around 1am on Alloa Road, Tullibody.

She continued: “While on mobile patrol, the officers noticed the accused’s vehicle parked at a bus stop. They pulled in behind it and it drove away.

“Police decided to stop the vehicle and when doing so noticed a strong smell of cannabis coming from inside and the accused was detained.”

Officers then found drugs, scales and a mobile phone in the car, with McParland replying: “That’s just a few ounces of cannabis.”

He was found to be in possession of almost £1,500 and more drugs and scales were later found at his then address on Newmains.

A total of 146g worth of cannabis was recovered – said to be valued between £1,460 and £2,190.

Defence agent Steven Maguire told the court: “Historically, Mr McParland has had back problems and uses cannabis for medicinal purposes.”

The lawyer added: “The supply was restricted to a small group of associates. He grew and harvested a couple of plants. Really, it was for his own use and for a small group.”
McParland’s previous record of dealing drugs was then put before the court, with his lawyer saying: “He does have an analogous conviction, which resulted in a community payback order which was successfully completed.

“He appreciates that repeat offending comes with a significant risk of custody.”

Sheriff Mackie said: “Despite that fact you were found in possession of two sets of scales, £1,500 and around £2,000 of cannabis in your possession, it is accepted by the Crown that the supply here was too a group of trusted associates.

“It is on that basis that I am prepared to deal with this by way of a community payback order.”

McParland, now of Old School Court, was handed 300 hours of unpaid work to be completed in 12 months.

The matter will also call later next month under the Proceeds of Crime Act.