Mossend businessman jailed for selling Class A drugs

The owner of a “well-respected” Mossend garage has been jailed for nearly two years after he was caught supplying cocaine.

Glenn Keeper’s lawyer said he sold the Class A drug to pay off his own dealers.

Keeper, 56, of Asquith Place, Mossend, admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine at his home and garage premises in nearby Calder Road.

Rebecca Clark, prosecuting, told Hamilton Sheriff Court that police officers got a search warrant for both addresses on January 30 last year.

Various amounts of cocaine and mixing agents were found, along with two sets of scales and a sieve that was stained with white powder.

Officers also seized £1,350 in mixed notes from a wardrobe.

Clark said expert police officers estimated the cocaine was worth up to £8,160, though defence agent Alan Murray suggested the maximum value was £5,400.

Mr Murray pointed out that his client has no previous convictions for drug offences.

He told the court: “This is a man who has been running a well-respected vehicle bodyshop for more than 20 years.

“His wife died some years ago and his two daughters live with him.

“He also looks after his father who is registered blind.

“He works virtually all around the clock and a few years ago - perhaps as a safety valve - he started to take cocaine.

“His use of the drug grew to the extent that what he was spending on it far exceeded the income from his business.”

Mr Murray said Keeper built up a drug debt and dealers “pressurised” him into helping them.

The solicitor added: “He began selling cocaine, mostly to a group of friends and the like.

“He was useful to his suppliers because he had commercial premises where the drug could be stored.”

Keeper pleaded guilty to the offense last month and sentence was deferred for a criminal justice social work report and an electronic tagging assessment.

However, Sheriff Douglas Brown said this week that, despite the accused’s circumstances, only a custodial sentence was appropriate and jailed him for 23 months.