A FAMILY has been left “shocked and disgusted” after finding a bag of drugs - which he believed to be heroin - stashed in an Arnold Clark hire car during the school run.

Dad-of one Christopher Curran discovered the drug in a ceiling compartment of a new Ford Fiesta hired from from the firm’s South Street branch, in Whiteinch, while driving his 10-year-old son to school.

His partner pushed the compartment open and rolled up foil fell out onto the gear stick. They then spotted a “sandwich bag” containing heroin tucked inside the compartment.

Christopher guessed the bag probably contained “a couple of grams” of the drug – which he believes put his child’s safety at risk as well as his liberty.

Arnold Clark has apologised for the incident.

Speaking to the Evening Times, he said: “It’s shocking, it really is shocking.

“If it were me personally who got charged, my family would have disowned me for smoking heroin and I’d be jailed for it.

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“There could have been needles, I was wearing a t-shirt when I was driving, imagine if I’d ended up with HIV or something like that?”

He added the area around the compartment was covered in black fingerprints, which he guessed had been left by the drug users. “It’s disgusting,” he said.

Christopher immediately called Arnold Clark who told him to bring the car back to the branch, but when he arrived he said the staff were “dismissive” and tried to play down the incident.

Evening Times:

“After I took it back I walked into the Arnold Clark and it was full, packed.

“And I said I just found heroin in your car, I can’t believe I’ve been driving around like that.

“They started shushing me, ‘shush, shush, there are customers in here’ and took me out the back.

“They said the manager would have a word with me. I was basically told to keep my mouth shut.”

The police have not contacted Christopher over the incident, which happened nearly two weeks ago.

“Arnold Clark told me the police took the stuff away, which I don’t know if its true or not, they just told me that,” he added.

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He said the manager of the branch did not contact him, as he was promised, and he feels like the dealership have brushed him off. An area manager for Arnold Clark did try to contact him about the incident, but he said it was too late.

“I probably wouldn’t have been bothered if Arnold Clark had actually spoken to me like a normal customer and actually dealt with it at the time.

“I just wanted to be treated like a normal person, but it felt like they just wanted to keep this story quiet.”

When the area manager spoke to Christopher, he told them he was taking his story to the Evening Times, at which point he was offered extended car rentals.

Evening Times:

He said: “They are definitely trying to buy my silence now, but its not about that, it’s about respect.”

A spokesman for Arnold Clark said: “Unfortunately, a customer recently hired a rental car which contained a small foil wrapper of an unidentified substance. As it was hidden in a small recess, it had escaped the attention of our valeting team.

“We immediately replaced the car when the customer, Chris, returned it to the branch and we alerted the authorities.

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“We were happy to help Chris with an additional van rental the following week which he accepted free of charge.

“Our Rental Area Manager spoke with Chris on numerous occasions to make sure he was completely satisfied with the solutions that had been offered to him and apologised for any inconvenience it may have caused.”

Evening Times:

In response Christopher said he did accept a van rental free of charge, after he told the area manager the gearbox had broken on his own van.

He added: “It’s not her I had a problem with, she’s nothing to do with South Street, my problem is with the way I was dealt with when taking the stuff back I found in the car.

“They ushered me into a room to save themselves and any customers hearing me – no explanation or nothing.

“I’ve hired twice since that at full price again. I’ve spent a couple thousand pounds hiring from Arnold Clark in the last few years, it doesn’t hide the fact that they left that stuff in the car I was driving.”