Woman cleared of obstructing police drugs search

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A 38-year-old woman has been cleared of attempting to obstruct police during a drugs raid at her Oban home.

Sheriff Simon Fraser found the charge not proven when Rita Gatner of 9 Quarry Road appeared on trial at court in Oban on Wednesday December 16.

Miss Gatner was also found not guilty of possessing cannabis.

The court heard how a pungent smell of cannabis raised suspicions when a police officer knocked at the address on March 16, 2019, carrying out door-to-door enquiries about an earlier unconnected disturbance in the street.

The constable had reported it back at the police station and six officers returned to the property a couple of hours later with a drugs search warrant.

Miss Gatner was accused of repeatedly shouting to alert two other people who were in the flat at the time and also to a caller who came to the door that police were present and searching for drugs, but she told Sheriff Simon Fraser it had not been intended as a warning to ditch drugs, she said she was simply announcing their arrival, ‘just  shouting the obvious’ as if it was the ‘coalman at the door’.

During the police search an amount of drugs and paraphernalia including a pipe and a bong was discovered. Cannabis was also found on a coffee table and nine wraps of heroin were found in jeans belonging to Miss Gatner’s now former partner Daniel Guy.

Miss Gatner told the court all the drugs belonged to Guy who was an addict, controlling, and ‘a bit of a bully’, with whom she had been in an on-and-off volatile and difficult relationship for about two years, until she threw him out following the incident.

She told the court there would have been ‘consequences’ if she had got rid off his drugs.

‘I was living under duress at the time,’ she said.