Dealer dubbed himself cannabis ‘connoisseur’ after he was caught with £10k worth of drugs

A garage worker claimed he had nearly £10,000 worth of cannabis in his home for personal use because he was a drug “connoisseur”.

Gary Winton told a court he smoked different kinds of hash at different times of the day and found it better to buy in bulk.

He said he had no idea he had stockpiled so much of the drug when a huge stash was recovered by police during a raid on his Perth flat.

However, a jury rejected his claim to simply be a prolific “cannabis connoisseur” and instead found him guilty of dealing the drug for profit.

Sheriff William Wood deferred sentence for reports and said: “There was a substantial amount of cannabis found in your flat and you have always acknowledged ownership of that.

“Because of the nature and seriousness of the charge you have been found guilty of, I cannot deal with this today.”

Skateboarder Winton, 31, from Perth, told the jury he “loved” to smoke weed.

He said he knew which varieties were best for waking you up in the mornings and which could help aid sleep at night.

The jury at Perth Sheriff Court heard that nearly a kilo of the class B drug was recovered by police from his property in the city’s Gowrie Street.

He admitted the drug belonged to him but he denied he was a dealer.

Jurors found Winton guilty of being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

The heard court officers swooped on the flat on 4 March 2019 and found several tubs of cannabis, as well as scales and snap-bags with traces of the drug.

Winton told jurors he bought his drugs with money he made fixing and building vintage bicycles.

He claimed the scales were used to weigh bike parts, while the bags were used to hold small bolts and nuts.

When cross-examined by deputy prosecutor Michael Dunlop, Winton admitted he also used the scales to weigh cannabis “to know how much I’m smoking in a day.”

The trial heard Winton had been using cannabis for a decade and estimated he was regularly using half an ounce per day.

“You love to smoke cannabis, don’t you?” asked Mr Dunlop.

Winton replied: “Yes, it’s true.”

When told by police that nearly a kilo of cannabis was found in his flat, Winton responded: “I didn’t realize there was that much in my house, to be honest.

“It’s better to buy in bulk.”

During his police interview, Winton refused to name who he bought the drugs from.

“I’m honest up until the point I get someone in trouble,” he said.

“I know the people I buy it from and we have a trusting relationship.”

Winton told the jury: “I would consider myself a connoisseur. It was all for personal use.”

He reeled off the names of some strains of the drug he used at different times of the day, such as Stardog, Nebula and Gelato.

Solicitor Linda Clark, defending, said her client had always admitted possession of the cannabis.

“If he was some wily drug dealer, he would have told police: ‘That’s not mine, I was looking after it for someone else.'”

Winton had bail continued for reports and will be sentenced in August.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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