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Drugged-up woman jailed for putting a child at risk

By Ali Morrison

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Elgin Sheriff Court.
Elgin Sheriff Court.

A woman has been jailed for putting a very young child's life in danger while high on drugs.

Traffic was forced to brake sharply after Jane McLean walked out into a road while pushing the youngster in a buggy.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that the 51-year-old had seemed fine when she collected the child from its mother's home in Lossiemouth.

However, later that same day a passer-by became very concerned after seeing McLean walking with the child on Ramsey Lane.

Fiscal Depute Susan Love said: "She appeared to be swaying and struggling to stand upright.

"She also had a blank expression and was staring off into the distance."

The witness saw McLean lean over a garden wall and begin having a conservation – although there was nobody else there.

Out of worry for the child, the witness contacted the police and also took several pictures on her mobile phone.

Next, McLean stopped and took the child out of the buggy.

Ms Love said: "The witness became alarmed that she might fall or might drop the child."

By this stage the youngster had started to cry and McLean put it back in its buggy.

She then headed towards the busy A941 Elgin road.

Ms Love said: "She continued and pushed the buggy out across the road in front of oncoming traffic."

Police officers described the defendant, when traced, as being "heavily under the influence" of drugs.

McLean pleaded guilty to a charge of neglecting a child by being intoxicated.

She also admitted a separate charge of theft.

This related to the early hours of April 30, when she targeted a parked car on Coulardbank Road, Lossiemouth.

The car's owner, who had CCTV outside their home, played back the footage and saw McLean getting into the vehicle at 4.50am.

A purse containing bank and store cards was stolen along with several items of sentimental value.

The court heard that McLean originally denied committing the offence when arrested.

McLean's defence solicitor Stephen Carty said his client was "fearful" about the prospect of going to jail, adding: "These offences were the culmination of a very difficult period for her and the increase of her drug use."

Referring to a previous order made by the court, Mr Carty added: "Abiding by the drug treatment and testing order proved too much for Miss McLean."

Speaking directly to the defendant who was in tears throughout the proceedings, Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov said: "You put that child's life in danger.

"You have been given every chance. There's now no option other than custody."

McLean, whose address was given in court papers as Community Way, Lossiemouth, was jailed for a total of 46 weeks.

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