Boy caught with Ecstasy let off the hook after writing essay for sheriff

Boy caught with Ecstasy let off the hook after writing essay for sheriff

A boy who was caught with Ecstasy at a festival has avoided getting a criminal record after he wrote a 500-word essay on drugs for a sheriff.

Aaron Bertram, 17, was found with Ecstasy at T in the Park last year but was granted an absolute discharge after penning an essay entitled: “The Perils of Drug Misuse for 16-21-year-olds in the 21st Century.”

Sheriff William Wood, at Perth Sheriff Court, told Aaron, who would like to study business at university, that he was satisfied with the boy’s effort in preparing the essay for the court.

He said:“I have given considerable though to your particular circumstances.

“I deferred sentence and asked you to write an essay in the hope it would bring to your attention the dangers of these illicit substances and misusing drugs in any shape or form.

“I hope it has had that effect. You don’t have to be on drugs to have fun.

“In the particular circumstances what I am going to do is grant you an absolute discharge which means you won’t have a conviction.

“This is a lifeline for you, because otherwise you would have to disclose this to any potential employer. Don’t let me down. I don’t want to see you back in court. Good luck in the future.”

Six months ago the sheriff had said to the sixth year pupil: “You are on the cusp of the rest of your life and this was a very stupid thing to have done. It no doubt seemed like a good idea at the time.

“I want you to provide an essay of 500 words, which isn’t too long. The title is the Perils of Drugs Misuse for 16-21-year-olds in the 21st century. I don’t want it to be a lecture on the law.

“I want to know about the impact it has on you and those like you. I hope you do well in your exams in the meantime.”

Aaron, from Giffnock, admitted two charges of possessing both Ecstasy and the class-B drug Methylethcathinone, colloquially known as “Meow Meow” or “M-Cat”, at the festival last July.

Lisa Marshall, fiscal depute, told the court: “One tablet of the Ecstasy drug was found in his possession with a potential value of ten pounds.

“There was 0.14 grams of the Class B drug worth about one pound.”

Solicitor Paul Ralph, for Aaron, said: “He is 17 and due to leave school in the summer and go on to tertiary education. Now he has given himself a huge headache.”

Sheriff Wood said: “A conviction would seem to blight a young man with prospects, particularly given the quantities of the drugs in his possession.”

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