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Highest Fine in Scotish History for Cannabis


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The former Bay City Rollers' manager, Tam Paton, was ordered yesterday to pay £180,000 in profits from crime.

Paton, 68, insisted as he left the High Court in Edinburgh that he had fallen victim to "bad book-keeping".

He faces losing more cash in the New Year when he is due to be sentenced for drugs offences.

In 2004, Paton, who is believed to be worth millions of pounds, fell ill at the High Court in Edinburgh shortly before he was to appear for trial.

After some time in hospital, he pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis at his Edinburgh home.

The house had been raided twice by police. The first time, Paton was not in and drugs were found in a bedroom. Next time, officers caught him holding four 9oz bars of cannabis resin, and sitting on two other bars.

The total amount seized had a wholesale value of around £6,000, and £25,000 if cut down to street deals.

Paton maintained he helped finance the purchase of cannabis which would be available for use by him and others who stayed in his home. He took it in the form of cakes because it helped with his high blood pressure.

The judge, Lord Uist, said it was only Paton's age, state of health and guilty plea that would save him from jail.

Lord Uist said a fine needed to be "a very considerable one" given Paton's substantial wealth, and he set the figure at £200,000, the highest imposed on an individual by a Scottish court.

However, the appeal court later quashed the fine, saying confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act should be concluded before a fine was imposed.

Evidence in a confiscation hearing had been set down to begin yesterday in the High Court in Edinburgh before temporary judge Roger Craik, QC.

The settlement paves the way for Paton to be resentenced for the cannabis charges, possibly next month.

As he left court yesterday, Paton

said: "It was just down to bad book-keeping - bad book-keeping of many years. I hope they put the money to good use."

Newshawk: User - 420 Magazine
Source: Scotsman.com
Pubdate: 8 December 2006
Copyright: 2006 Scotsman.com
Contact: Scotsman.com News - Scottish news direct from Scotland
Website: Scotsman.com News - Scottish news direct from Scotland
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