Teenager cleared of drugs charges

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page -

A teenager ac­cused of drugs of­fences and ob­struct­ing po­lice has been found not guilty at a trial.

Prose­cu­tors dropped pro­ceed­ings against Jamie Ste­wart, 19, who was ar­rested by plain clothes cops in Ren­frew Road, Pais­ley, on Au­gust 5, last year.

The town’s sher­iff court heard the young­ster was lifted by cops from the Gangs Task Force prob­ing a se­ries of bike thefts in the area, when they spot­ted him out on his bi­cy­cle at around 5.40pm.

Con­sta­ble Stephen Ed­mond, 30, told the court he and his col­league de­cided to stop and search Mr Ste­wart as they claim they “de­tected a strong smell of cannabis”com­ing from him.

PC Ed­mond said:“I in­formed him I was stop­ping for pur­pose of a search un­der the Mis­use of Drugs Act.”

How­ever, de­fence agent Paul Lynch ques­tioned the of­fi­cer’s mo­tive for the ar­rest as Mr Ste­wart was rid­ing his own bike at the time.

The court also heard a wit­ness who saw the ar­rest had even re­ported the in­ci­dent to po­lice as an al­leged as­sault.

PC Ed­mond was also un­able to an­swer on what le­gal grounds the young­ster, of Al­ton Road, Pais­ley, had been de­tained and ar­rested.

Sher­iff David Hall told Mr Ste­wart: “The procu­ra­tor fis­cal has de­cided not to lead any fur­ther ev­i­dence in these mat­ters and you are free to go. You have been found not guilty of both charges.”

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