Ten found to have drugs during Kelso Races Ladies’ Day

The drugs searches were carried out in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour at the course on racedays.
The drugs searches were carried out in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour at the course on racedays.

A 21-year-old man who tried to enter a Borders racecourse while in possession of cocaine has been fined £350, the first of 10 people arrested for drugs offences at Kelso Races’ Ladies’ Day on May 27 to appear in court.

At Jedburgh Sheriff Court on Monday, Joshua Rogerson, of Alwinton, Northumberland, admitted possessing £40 worth of the class A drug in the track’s car park, where there was a strong police presence – including two dog handlers – following concern about drug use amongst spectators.

The drugs searches were carried out in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour at the course on racedays.

The drugs searches were carried out in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour at the course on racedays.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said:”When he saw the dogs he moved away from the entrance and appeared very nervous.

“A wrap of cocaine worth £40 was recovered.”

Defence lawyer Mat Patrick said:”He has taken this very seriously and is mortified.

“He has no history of regular consumption of drugs and has reflected on who he was with that day. It was the company he was in and he did what they were doing.”

He added the first offender was “an intelligent young man notwithstanding this conviction.”

Sheriff Peter Paterson said it was a serious matter and highlighted the problems taking class A drugs can lead to.

A team of 19 officers conducted searches of 34 people on the day, with eight seizures of suspected cocaine and two cannabis recoveries.

Enquiries were also made after three discarded packages containing cocaine, estimated to be worth around £300, were found within the grounds of the car park.

Inspector John Scott from Police Scotland said: “We worked very closely with the event planners at Kelso Races to ensure that the day would be safe and enjoyable for everyone.

“Following issues at last year’s event, we had a number of specialist resources in attendance to detect and deter any alcohol related-disorder, drug use or road offences.”

Jonathan Garratt, managing director of Kelso Races Ltd, added: “We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for our visitors, which means that we will continue to work closely with the local police to reduce the potential for antisocial behaviour.”