A dealer whose brother died of a drugs overdose has been slated by a sheriff for continuing to sell deadly substances on the streets of Paisley.
Thomas Miller, 27, was caged for 30 months after he was caught with almost 14,000 deadly etizolam pills, known as street Valium, more than £500 in cash, digital scales, burner phones, plastic bags and herbal cannabis at a flat in the town’s Maxwellton Court.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard Miller, whose brother died of a heroin overdose in 2008, admitted the haul of drugs was all his when cops swooped on the house he shared with his girlfriend on August 31.
He appeared for sentencing before Sheriff David Pender after pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of controlled substances, namely Class-C etizolam – which has been linked with hundreds of deaths.
Miller also admitted a raft of other charges including possession of Class-A cocaine, Class-C cannabis, and threatening and abusive behaviour against police.
Sheriff Pender told him: “You suffered a family tragedy as a result of your own brother taking drugs, yet you continued to sell drugs.
“You were obviously affected by the death of your brother, but it did not stop you selling drugs to others.
“These offences before the court can be dealt with in no other way than a sentence of imprisonment.”
Defence agent David Nicholson told the court his client, a former car valeter, had fallen into the grip of dealers after running up debts caused by his own drug abuse.
He said: “It is an all too familiar, but regrettable, tale.
“He is a young man who became involved in drug use and this spiralled out of control with debts running up and, inevitably, to meet that debt, he was the person dealing.
“He was very much a worker, not a boss, in the operation. He was a street dealer.”
Mr Nicholson said Miller’s brother’s tragic death through heroin had a “devastating impact” on him and urged the court to show him leniency, given the background to the offences.
Sheriff Pender jailed him for 30 months, saying there was no alternative.