An award-winning Highland footballer was arrested for dealing cocaine just months after he won a player of the year trophy.
Ex-Elgin City, Brora Rangers and Forres Mechanics midfielder Gordon Finlayson is on trial accused of being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug between September 22 2019 and October 19 2019.
Drugs and cash were found in a police raid on his house in Shillinghill, Alness, as well as in a car he hired for a week before the search.
Bags sometimes used by dealers were also found in a jacket bearing the Alness United logo – the club he played for when he won the North Caledonian Player of the Year Award in April 2019.
Suspicion fell on Finlayson, 28, on September 22 when a bag of cocaine was found in a bush in the Easter Ross town’s communal garden.
The court was told by support worker Gemma Lennox that Finlayson and his brother, Alasdair, were “hovering nearby” and claimed they were looking for a football.
The drugs were handed in to the police, the jury was told.
Mrs Lennox said that she subsequently received a social media friend request from Finlayson and received a missed call from Alasdair.
She told defence solicitor Graham Mann that police came to see her to ask if she was “receiving any hassle” after the drugs find and that they had received information or “intel” (intelligence). She said she hadn’t.
Bags of cocaine and cash found in rented car
Former police constable Russell Leslie said colleagues obtained a warrant and searched Finlayson’s house on October 19.
He said various bags were found, including in the football club jacket, and £300 in cash, bank statements and a notebook in Finlayson’s bedroom.
Mr Leslie said a tub of white powder was found on top of a fridge.
He told the trial: “Two bags of white powder later confirmed as cocaine were found in the rented vehicle, as well as £1,400 in cash in the centre console of the Peugeot. Finlayson’s wallet was also on the back seat.”
He confirmed to fiscal depute Robert Weir that 18.7 grams of cocaine were recovered. No value was given.
Finlayson was then arrested and questioned. But he largely gave a “no comment” interview, the jury heard.
He denied knowledge of ownership of the club jacket but admitted he had played for them.
He also said he had not seen any of the cash and denied knowledge of the September drugs find in the community garden.
The trial, at Inverness Sheriff Court, continues.