Lottery winner jailed due to £12k unpaid debt

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man jailed for £12k unpaid debt

A NATIONAL lottery winner who scooped a quarter of a million pounds has been jailed for 12 months after failing to pay a £12,000 debt.

Gerry Donaldson, 52, won £250,000 on a lottery scratch card in 2010 and invested some of his winnings opening a pet store near his home in Hawick in the Scottish Borders.

The venture soon folded and when he was convicted of drugs offences, including cultivating cannabis within his home, legal proceedings were taken against him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Following a raid on his property in 2018, a confiscation order of £11,750 was made against him.

At Jedburgh Sheriff Court it emerged that figure had now risen to £12,335.85 through interest.

The grandfather went into the dock with a packed bag saying he expected a prison sentence as he had not paid the debt within the time period and was unable to do so.

Fiona Hamilton, prosecuting, said an investigation into what assets were owned by Donaldson was carried out.

It was discovered that he had received £36,000 in March 2021 from his solicitor from the sale of his home.

Ms Hamilton said Donaldson does not own the property he resides in and the only asset he appeared to own was a vehicle.

She added: “He won a significant amount on the lottery sometime ago but there are no details on where this has gone.”

Jailing him for 12 months, Sheriff Peter Paterson said the amount owed would still be recovered through civil diligence.

Back in 2018 Donaldson had angered the same sheriff over his attitude on illegal drugs.

He tried to protest from the dock after being sentenced for producing cannabis in his own home and possession of the class B drug.

Donaldson pointed out the items he had to cultivate the cannabis could be purchased online on the internet.

But Sheriff Paterson told him: “I am not interested in what you feel the law should be.

“If you are back before the court I will not forget your attitude towards these offences.”

Earlier, the court heard how police obtained a search warrant for his home in Borthwick Road in the town’s Burnfoot estate.

Officers discovered a cannabis cultivation in a spare bedrooms featuring tents, lights and fans with five plants growing.

There were also four bags of herbal matter found in the kitchen featuring almost 70 grammes of cannabis with a value of between £750 and £900.

Donaldson had pleaded guilty to two offences in connection with the raid.

The court heard then that A Proceeds of Crime hearing in relation to cash seized in the property was due to take place soon after the hearing.

Donaldson said that before the offence his income had come from buying and selling goods for markets to friends but he has been unable to do that because of the cash seizure.

At the time, Donaldson was ordered to carry out 80 hours unpaid work as part of a community pay back order.

 

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