A LOW-LEVEL cannabis dealer was stopped by police as he rode an electric cycle while smoking late at night, a court was told.
On pulling Jonathan Burrows over at 11.20pm in Bishop Auckland the officers could smell cannabis and noticed he had glazed look, while his reactions seemed to be delayed.
Burrows, 31, told the officers he had only smoked half a joint, just before they stopped him.
Police found ‘numerous’ cannabis buds in his rucksack.
Uzma Khan, prosecuting, told Durham Crown Court that a further search of the bag was made at the police station and nine clear plastic bags were found filled with cannabis.
Within hours police searched his home in High Street, Byers Green, near Spennymoor, and found 131 bags under a bed containing a total of 187.7g of cannabis, with a sale value of £2,620.
They also found a set of scales, a grinder and more plastic bags.
Burrows admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply.
The court heard his 31 previous convictions include a similar offence in 2015 for which he received a suspended sentence.
Amrit Jandoo, for the defendant, said Burrows had been out of work for a number of years and had financial problems during lockdown, so he ran the “limited operation” to try to deal with those difficulties.
Mr Jandoo said it is “encouraging” that he now has the prospect of a job.
He added that Burrows took cannabis as a “coping mechanism” for pain after suffering an injury in an assault.
Recorder Chris Smith told Burrows: “It’s not the first time you have been before this court in respect of cannabis dealing.
“You were her in 2015 and on that occasion the judge took a lenient course, passing a suspended prison sentence.
“For whatever reason you seem to think the law applying to cannabis doesn’t seem to apply to you.”
Recorder Smith said the latest offence was made more serious by that similar previous conviction and, so, only a custodial sentence can now be justified.
He passed an immediate custodial sentence of eight months.