A CROSS-BORDER criminal caught in Clydebank with cannabis and a knife will be sentenced in the new year.

Paul Cairns, previously of Hood Street in Drumry, was caught with the drug after police stopped a vehicle at the junction of North Elgin Street and Jane Rae Gardens in Whitecrook in May.

And the blade was found when he was searched at Clydebank’s police office later that day.

Cairns, currently living in Oxfordshire, appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court for sentencing on Friday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to charges of possessing a controlled drug with intent to supply, and possession of an offensive weapon.

At a previous hearing, in August, a sheriff had slammed the lack of co-operation from England’s National Probation Service, who had failed to respond to a request for a background report on the 24-year-old.

But by Friday’s hearing a report had been prepared by a West Dunbartonshire Council social worker, allowing sentence to be passed.

Fiscal depute Sean Maher said around 14.5 grams of cannabis had been discovered after police detected a strong smell of the drug when they stopped the vehicle.

Mr Maher added: “The knife was discovered while the accused was being searched at Clydebank police office.

“In the course of a police interview the accused confirmed his ownership of a lockback knife.

“He claimed this was for his own protection.”

Cairns’ solicitor, James McNair, asked Sheriff Maxwell Hendry to pass an alternative to a custodial sentence, and said his client planned to return to live in the West Dunbartonshire area in 2020.

Sheriff Hendry – who had hit out at the “lack of joined up thinking” between the Scottish and English court systems, and said he suspected the NPS of having “thrown their toys out with the pram” – agreed to defer sentence until March 10 for Cairns to be of good behaviour.

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The sheriff told Cairns: “I’m sure you know, if you didn’t at the time, that having drugs with the intention of supplying them to others, and the possession of a weapon, is a very serious matter, and the possibility of sending you to prison cannot be ruled out.

“But the court has to look at every other option first.

“Whether you are, or are not, of good behaviour will play quite a large role in my decision next year. The most I can say to you at present is that every sentencing option remains open to the court.”