A paranoid Aberdeen drug dealer, who took photos of himself posing with bags of cannabis, caused nearly £10,000 of damage smashing up his flat in search of surveillance cameras he’d convinced himself were there.
Mariusz Rjatin, whose cannabis use had “spiralled out of control” ripped large holes in plasterboard walls, dismantled kitchen appliances and a boiler, and even broke a mirror in search of cameras.
Yesterday the 36-year-old was jailed over the episode, which Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard was caused by his “drug-induced paranoia”, along with offences of producing and being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
Police who were dealing with Rjatin over a separate matter smelled cannabis on him and looked through his phone, discovering photos of him posing with bags of cannabis and videos of him with cannabis plants.
And after getting a warrant to search his home on Gallowgate, the officers discovered six plants and jars of cannabis, with the potential to be worth more than £5,000.
Fiscal depute Alison Reid told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “At the time the accused was the sole tenant of the locus.
“During the afternoon of April 1 police officers saw the accused elsewhere walking along a street in Aberdeen.
“He was dealt with in relation to another matter.
“He was taken to Kittybrewster police office where officers could smell cannabis coming from him.
“When he was booked into custody he was found to be in possession of a bag containing a white powder. This was later found to be cocaine with a value of approximately £30.”
Ms Reid said he was also found in possession of two mobile phones and £1,692.88 in cash.
She said: “Due to the circumstances officers were given authorisation to have a look at his phones.
“They saw numerous text and social media messages. The accused was found to have been sending photos of himself with bags of what appeared to be cannabis.
“Drug-related terminology was used in these messages indicating that the accused was concerned in the supplying of cannabis.
“There were also videos on both of the mobile phones which showed the accused with what appeared to be a cultivation containing numerous cannabis plants.
“It was also noted that throughout the time the police had possession of his phone, the phone received in excess of 30 telephone calls from numerous different people.
“Warrants were obtained the following day on April 2 for the accused’s property.
“When officers arrived there they recovered six cannabis plants, jars containing cannabis, two further mobile phones, scales and other evidence of a cultivation and general items of growing equipment.”
The fiscal depute told the court the plants had the potential to be worth between £1,200 and £4,860, with the jars of cannabis worth £365.
Regarding the trashing of his flat, Ms Reid said: “This incident came to the attention of the police as a result of the previous matter.
“The accused had been a tenant at the property which was owned and maintained by Castlehill Housing Association. His lease was terminated in October 2019.
“An employee of the housing who deals with maintenance arrived at the property on September 25 along with a gas engineer.
“On arrival, the accused was coming out of the living room.
“The maintenance officer saw there was damage to an electrical meter and as he made his way through the property saw there was extensive damage including large holes in plasterboard walls, bare electrical wiring was loose, the boiler in the kitchen was damaged along with kitchen appliances which had been dismantled.”
Further damage was noted to walls in the living room, bathroom and cupboard, and also a bathroom mirror.
Ms Reid added: “The accused said he damaged the property because he was looking for cameras.
“The estimated cost to repair the damage is approximately £9,500.”
Rjatin, whose address was given in court papers as Ruthrieston Circle, Aberdeen, pled guilty to maliciously causing extensive damage to the property between September 1 and 23 last year.
He also admitted producing cannabis between March 1 and April 2 last year and being concerned in the supply of cannabis between March 28 and April 2 last year.
And Rjatin further admitted on April 1 2019 possession of cocaine.
Gail Goodfellow, Rjatin’s solicitor, said the Polish national had been a recreational user of cannabis for some time, but it “spiralled out of control”, leading to the breakdown of his marriage.
She said: “He initially became involved in the production of cannabis by growing plants for his own use. When his own use increased he began to sell to close friends who were already users of cannabis.
“He was also trying to fund his own drug use by selling drugs.
“Come September he was still heavily abusing substances which resulted in him experiencing drug-induced paranoia.
“Such was his paranoia at that time that he believed that there were surveillance cameras in his house and damage was caused by him in an attempt to make it stop.
“He clearly wasn’t in his right mind. He was absolutely appalled at the extent of the damage and cost of repair.”
Sheriff Philip Mann ordered Rjatin to be jailed for eight months.