Pink tablet supplier avoids jail term
A Hawick man has avoided a jail term after distributing pink pills which left a number of teenagers in hospital.
Jamie Thomson, 20, admitted culpably and recklessly supplying "an unknown noxious psychoactive chemical substance or substances" in August last year.
At the High Court in Edinburgh, a judge told him the consequences could have been "far more serious".
Lady Wise deferred sentence on Thomson for a year after being told he was on a residential rehabilitation programme.
The court heard several of the children who took the tablets passed out and came round in hospital.
Police were alerted that one 15-year-old was under the influence of drugs and standing on a bridge outside a school in the Scottish Borders.
He was taken to Borders General Hospital and revealed that he had taken "one pink jelly".
Tests carried out on some of the youngsters later revealed traces of benzodiazepine - a psychoactive drug - in urine.
Thomson earlier admitted culpably and recklessly supplying tablets to youths which rendered them unconscious or insensible.
The offence occurred between 18 and 21 August last year at Havelock Street, Hawick and elsewhere in the Borders town after Thomson had been freed on bail days earlier at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
Lady Wise told Thomson that he had pled guilty to a very serious offence.
She said: "But for the intervention, mostly of their parents, in seeking immediate medical attention the consequences could have been far more serious than they were.
"In a year's time you will be brought back to court and I will expect to hear you have fully complied with and completed the rehabilitation programme."
The judge told Thomson that he was being given an opportunity to put his life on the right track, but warned that all sentencing options remained open to her.
The court heard details of how a number of teenagers had taken the tablets and subsequently blacked out.
Police later recovered a bag containing about 60 pills from Thomson's home. He told officers: "It's a bag of legal drugs, legal highs, they weren't ecstasy."
Defence counsel Victoria Dow said there was an obvious disposal at first glance of custody, but argued that a non-custodial alternative was available and appropriate.
She said Thomson had been abusing drugs himself at the time of the offence and had purchased the pills, which he understood to be legal highs, online.
"He had been taking these himself and also required medical treatment in respect of that and acknowledges the effects both for him and everyone else could have been far worse," she said.
She said he accepted that he did not know what was in the pills.
Ms Dow said Thomson had now "taken significant steps to put himself on a far more positive path".
She argued that his risk had been reduced sufficiently to allow the judge to consider an alternative to custody.