A TEENAGER caught with cannabis worth £2,000 claimed he was forced to run from police with the drugs to pay off a debt.

Ronan Davis, 19, appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court last week for sentencing after previously admitting being concerned in the supply of cannabis on August 22, 2018.

He had been on bail for a month at the time.

Depute fiscal Emma Thomson told the court that, at around 1.15pm, police in an unmarked vehicle followed a Vauxhall Astra along Great Western Road. There were three men in the vehicle.

When the vehicle entered Whitecrook Street about 10 minutes later, they stopped the car but Davis made off towards Taylor Street carrying a draw-string bag.

Police followed and Davis was seen throwing the bag into a garden before the officers eventually caught up with him.

The bag was found to contain 10 individual bags of cannabis worth about £2,000.

Davis, previously of West Court and now of Whitecrook Street, told officers: “I have a warrant – that’s why I ran.”

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry said the social work report on Davis recounted his version of events.

He claimed that he was told to get into the car and when he got out, the other occupants threw the bag after him.

Davis’s defence solicitor said her client was minimising, and that he had vulnerabilities to do with mental health and cannabis use.

She said: “He was in debt to others, that’s how he came to be in the vehicle that day. He was told they would expunge his debt if he came with them that day.

“While in the vehicle, he was not in control. He was instructed to take the bag and run, which he did.”

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The sheriff replied: “He is trying to make himself less responsible than he actually was.”

Davis’s solicitor insisted: “He takes responsibility for his actions.”

Sheriff Hendry said Davis had a previous conviction for exactly the same offence and warned if he did it again, he would go to prison.

Davis was put on a community payback order with social work supervision for 18 months as well as having to do 180 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He will also be subject to a curfew from 7pm to 7am for the next four months.