TWO 19-year-old former pupils of a leading public school yesterday were fined for possessing cannabis but cleared of dealing in the drug.
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John Aitken, of Castlebrae Lodge, Huntingtower, Perth, and Alan Milne, of Drummond Road, Inverness, both admitted being found in unlawful possession of cannabis resin at Strathallan School, Perthshire, on November 13, 1993.
Aitken, now receiving income support of #36 a week, was fined #120 at Perth Sheriff Court. Milne, also unemployed but not yet in receipt of benefit, was fined #100.
The pair also were accused of being concerned in the supply of cannabis at the school. But all charges relating to alleged supply were dropped when the Crown accepted their pleas of not guilty to these counts.
This late development, which followed pre-trial negotiations between defence and Crown, meant that 11 witnesses who had turned up for the case were not called to give evidence.
Depute fiscal Ann Orr said that police were called to Strathallan after staff had learned that cannabis had been brought into the school.
It was then established that the two accused possessed the drug, the total amount involved being worth about #40.
Defence lawyer David Holmes said that Aitken was a former pupil who committed the offence while revisiting the school.
He was embarrassed and ashamed at behaviour which had caused a great deal of concern to his family.
Mr John McLaughlin, representing Milne, said that his client was a pupil at the time of the offence and was expelled as a result.
The lawyer added: ''The effect on my client's family, his parents in particular, was quite devastating and this had a salutary effect on him.