A LINWOOD man became a drug dealer to pay off his debts after he got hooked on cocaine, a court has heard.

Mark McKenna was caught with nine bags of cocaine, each worth around £20, following a search of his car.

Glasgow Sheriff Court was told that witnesses spotted a car with its hazard lights flashing outside The Hydro at around 8.20pm on October 7 last year.

Police carried out a computer check, which highlighted that the vehicle was not insured.

The officers then followed the car to the Clydeside Expressway before activating their blue lights.

After being pulled over, 31-year-old McKenna was found behind the wheel.

He failed a roadside breath-test and was arrested.

Once taken to a police station, McKenna gave a reading of 58 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 22mg.

He pleaded guilty to getting behind the wheel while drunk and without insurance. He also admitted having cocaine in his possession with intent to supply.

In defence, it was claimed that McKenna dabbled with cocaine but got hooked. He then became involved in the drugs scene because of his debt.

The court was told the cocaine found was not for the accused’s friends, rather than commercial distribution.

It was stated that, after his arrest, McKenna “decided to get his life in order” and is now attending therapy to tackle his addiction issues.

McKenna, of Kintyre Avenue, Linwood, was banned from driving for two years and fined £500.

In addition, he was sentenced to a Community Payback Order which will see him complete 180 hours of unpaid work within six months as a direct alternative to custody.