A man who admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply has narrowly avoided an immediate term of imprisonment.
Carl Grant, 33, was instead handed a suspended 26-week prison sentence by High Peak magistrates on Wednesday, and warned that any breach would land him in custody.
Presiding magistrate Bob Graham said: “It was a marginal call whether we were going to suspend it or not, but we have chosen to give you a chance to work with the probation service.”
John Cooper, prosecuting, told the court told that the cannabis, weighing more than 200 grammes, was found at the home of Grant’s uncle on Monsal Avenue, Buxton, in August 2014.
The drug, Mr Cooper explained, was separated into various sized deals, and a mobile phone was also recovered which indicated Grant was supplying drugs to a number of people.
The prosecutor said the Crown was surprised the matter had remained in the magistrates court, given the sentencing guidelines for such offences ranging from 26 weeks to three years in prison.
Kirsten Collings, defending, said the offence was committed in August 2014 and since that time Grant had been sentenced to a 32-month prison sentence for a dissimilar offence.
She said he was currently on licence and under the supervision of the probation service, meeting onerous conditions.
In light of “a very positive pre-sentence report”, she urged magistrates to allow that work to continue.
Given the credit available to her client for his immediate guilty plea, Mrs Collings said she believed the case could be sentenced within the magistrates’ court guidelines, where the maximum sentence for a single offence was 26 weeks in custody. Magistrates agreed, and suspend the custodial sentence for two years.
As part of the suspended sentence order, Grant, of Bass Street, Derby, must complete 200 hours’ unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 government surcharge.
An order was made for the forfeiture of the drugs and associated paraphernalia.