£250k win goes up in smoke

Jedburgh Sheriff Court sign.
Jedburgh Sheriff Court sign.

A Lottery winner from Hawick has been rapped by a sheriff over his attitude regarding illegal drugs.

Gerald Donaldson tried to protest from the dock at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday, after being ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work as part of a community payback order, for producing cannabis in his own home and possession of the class B drug.

The 46-year-old – who scooped £250,000 seven years ago with a National Lottery scratchcard – said he had a question for Sheriff Peter Paterson, saying that the items he had to cultivate cannabis could be purchased online on the Internet.

But Sheriff Paterson told him: “I am not interested in what you feel the law should be.

“If you are back before the court, I will not forget your attitude towards these offences.”

Earlier, the court heard how police obtained a search warrant for his home in Borthwick Road in the town’s Burnfoot estate on March 18 last year.

Officers discovered a cannabis cultivation in a spare bedroom, featuring tents, lights and fans, with five plants growing.

There were also four bags of herbal matter found in the kitchen, featuring almost 70 grammes of cannabis with a value of between £750 and £900.

Donaldson had pleaded guilty to two offences in connection with the raid, but a charge against his wife Nicola, 44, of producing cannabis at their home was dropped by the crown.

A Proceeds of Crime hearing in relation to cash seized in the property will take place at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on April 4.

Before the offence, Donaldson’s income had come from buying and sellings goods for markets to friends, but he has been unable to do that because of the cash seizure.

Mr Hulme said he had now lived “frugally” with his wife, who is on benefits.

He added that the couple owned their own house “after they won some money on the lottery a few years ago.”

Mr Hulme said that police damaged Donaldson’s door during the raid and he will need to pay the bill.