A CLACKMANNAN man has been jailed for 13 months on drugs charges.

Alexander Gillies had been released from custody previously after claiming to be seriously ill with cancer.

But a sheriff raised concerns that he might have been exaggerating his condition.

Gillies, 52, of Backwood Court, who appeared with a walking aid, was sentenced at Hamilton Sheriff Court last week.

In December last year, he pleaded guilty to charges of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and ecstasy in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, on February 26, 2022.

He also admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine in East Kilbride on April 21, 2022.

The offences were all committed while he was on bail for other matters.

Sentence was deferred repeatedly for background reports and due to Gillies being in hospital.

It emerged that he had been held in custody after his arrest in April last year, but was freed in October after the Crown and Scottish Prison Service were told about his ill health.

In July this year, Sheriff Linda Nicolson expressed concern after calling for information on Gillies's medical condition.

The sheriff said: "I was told in January that he had an aggressive form of cancer requiring urgent treatment and he had been released on that basis.

"To hear now that he has not even been seen and doesn't know who is dealing with him is concerning."

The court heard that the Crown did not oppose Gillies's bail application in October or ask for confirmation of his cancer diagnosis.

His solicitor, Robert McCormack, stressed he has "genuine" health issues and requires daily visits from carers.

Gillies's doctor confirmed last month that he had diagnosed a symptom that is commonly seen in cancer sufferers.

Mr McCormack said this suggested his client had been "telling the truth" when he told the prison authorities about his health last year.

However, Sheriff Nicolson said that was not the same as Gillies's claim that he had "been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and received treatment at the Beatson Centre".

The sheriff said that in all the circumstances only a prison sentence was appropriate.

She reduced the period from two years to 13 months because of Gillies's guilty pleas and the time he spent in custody last year.