A FORMER Argyll and Bute Council worker in Helensburgh who was caught with drugs worth £150,000 in her car could be spared jail.

Danielle Finlay was stopped by police in Drumnadrochit in Inverness-shire on January 16, when drugs with an estimated maximum street value of £151,040 were found in a rucksack on the vehicle’s front passenger seat.

The 30-year-old and six fellow members of a gang caught with cocaine, heroin and etizolam over a period of five months appeared for sentencing at the High Court in Glasgow last week.

Finlay's co-accused were sentenced to spells of imprisonment of between 12 months and seven and a half years.

READ MORE: Ex council worker in Helensburgh caught with drugs worth £150,000 in her car

But after Finlay's lawyer told the court of her limited involvement in the case, judge Lord Boyd said he was considering a non-custodial sentence for her.

Finlay's defence counsel, Mark Moir, said: "She had a significant drug addiction problem and is taking steps to address that.

"Her involvement in this was acting as a courier on a single day.

"She had accrued a significant drug debt and had agreed to act as a courier to help pay that off."

Lord Boyd called for further reports on Finlay's progress and released her on bail until a further hearing in December.

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The gang's ringleaders, Kieran Adams, 28, from Clydebank, and 31-year-old Glasgow man Stephen Kelly, were each sentenced to seven years and six months in jail.

Glasgow trio Donald Dunbar, 61, Kenneth MacKenzie, 25, and Sean Gordon, 28, were each jailed for three years, while Karen Reynolds, 51, also from Glasgow, was given a 12-month sentence.

The gang had all admitted being involved in the supply of drugs between November 2018 and March this year.

The charges were aggravated by a connection with serious organised crime.

A previous hearing in August was told the gang planned to flood the Inverness area with drugs.

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Finlay, from Hamilton, previously worked as a senior area committee assistant with Argyll and Bute Council.

Her name is still listed on the authority's website, along with a Helensburgh phone number, as a contact point for various area committee meetings up till the summer of 2018, though an Argyll and Bute spokesman previously told the Advertiser she was no longer employed by the authority.

August's hearing was told that when police asked Finlay if there were any drugs in the Honda Civic she was driving, she replied: “What’s in the car is a long time in jail.”

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