A driver who refused to give a sample of blood after a roadside drug swab tested positive for cocaine claimed he was unable to comply because he was needle phobic.
Police stopped Thomas Stewart’s Ford Transit van on the A9 near Tore in the early hours of May 27 last year after seeing it driving without lights.
But when they smelled cannabis coming from inside they searched the vehicle and conducted a roadside drug wipe test on Stewart, 27, which came back positive for cocaine.
Fiscal Depute David Morton told Inverness Sheriff Court that Stewart was taken to Burnett Road Police Station in Inverness, where he was required to provide a blood sample.
“He indicated to the officers that he had a phobia of needles and was unable to provide a sample,” he said.
‘I already gave a mouth swab’
When he was subsequently charged with failing to provide a specimen of blood, Stewart replied: “I said I have a phobia of needles and I already gave a mouth swab.”
Stewart, of Druid Road, Inverness, appeared for sentencing today having previously pled guilty to the charge, along with one of drug driving.
He also admitted two charges relating to another traffic stop on August 1 2020 on Millburn Road, Inverness, where he was caught driving without insurance and carrying a small lock knife”
Defence solicitor Neil Wilson told the court that his client “regrets his actions and knows full well he should not have done what he did.”
He added: “He had no intention of using the knife.
Sheriff David Sutherland placed Stewart on a Community Payback Order with two years’ supervision and 200 hours of unpaid work.
He also disqualified him from driving on three of the charges, resulting in a total disqualification period of 18 months, which could be reduced by three months if Stewart successfully completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course.