A DRUG pusher caught with a large stash of amphetamine for dealing in Greenock has claimed he was holding it for someone else — despite also having 'tick lists', scales and packaging bags.

Samuel Worthington, 53, says that he turned to the illegal substance following the death of his mother and got into such a level of debt that he had to become a link in the supply chain.

But a sheriff has refused to believe his account and has set a special proof hearing in court for next week to 'establish the facts' of Worthington's involvement in the crime before he is sentenced.

Lawman Andrew McIntyre said: "A person who is involved in packaging and selling drugs has a more significant role than someone who is keeping the drugs for someone else.

"I am not bound at face value to accept the explanation given."

Worthington, of Gateside Grove, is facing the prospect of prison after pleading guilty on indictment to a charge of being concerned in the supply of the class B drug, also known as 'speed'.

He was caught with it in October 2017 whilst living at an address on Osprey Road, and has since also resided at a flat at James Watt Way.

Sheriff McIntyre said: "He had drugs in his house he says did not belong to him and he stored it for another person.

"That raises questions for me as to why in his car there were found two tick lists, scales and clear plastic bags."

Worthington's lawyer, Aidan Gallagher, said: "The items found in the car had been in the house and were moved by him because it was his intention, if he could, to cut ties with those he refers to in the background report.

"His intention regarding the tick lists and the bags was that he was going to return them to the individual who had brought the drugs to his house."

Mr Gallagher added: "He says that following the death of his mother his lifestyle became chaotic.

"He turned to alcohol and he was introduced to amphetamine, which he abused heavily and beyond his means.

"He fell into debt as a result of that."

Sheriff McIntyre said: "On the face of it the evidence suggests that he was doing more than simply keeping the drugs for another person.

"But he doesn't accept that this is the case."

Worthington has also admitted a charged of careless driving by failing to give way at junctions and travelling in excess of 30mph on various roads in Greenock on the day of his arrest on the drugs matter.

The proof hearing has been set for Monday.