A UTTOXETER teenager who began drug dealing and spent the profits on clothes has been spared an immediate prison sentence.
Ashley Barnett, of St Mary’s Crescent, admitted a charge of possessing drugs with intent to supply after he was caught by a plain clothes police officer in Bramshall Park with more than 20 bags of cannabis ready to sell.
Miss Sharon Bahia, prosecuting, told Stafford Crown Court the 19-year-old was with a group of young people, who tried to alert him as the officer approached.
Barnett attempted to hide something which turned out to be four bags of cannabis.
When he was searched a further 20 bags of the drug were recovered together with digital scales, a grinder, mobile phone and £110 in cash.
His home was also later searched and one more bag of cannabis was found.
The total street value of all the drugs was put at £250.
Barnett was handed eight months youth custody suspended for two years and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work.
Barnett was also told to pay £440 court costs and victim surcharge.
Judge Simon Tonking said Barnett was honest about dealing the drugs and what he was using the money for when he was confronted by the police.
He told him: “You were frank with the police as to what you were doing.
“You told them you had been doing it for six months, partly to spend your money on clothing.
“Despite your three year addiction to cannabis you are now motivated to change.
“You narrowly miss custody today.”
The prosecutor Miss Bahia told the court that Barnett confessed he was selling the class B drugs to make a profit of £10 for each of the bags.
He was then using the money he made to clothe himself and also to support his own cannabis habit.
Mr Steve Hennessey, defending, said he has learned a lesson from this experience and thought about the damage his actions have caused.
He said: “It started with him collecting drugs for friends, then making a bit of money out of it and it simply continued in that trend.
“He has thought long and hard about what’s happened to him and the effects it’s had on the community and he regards this as a wake up call.”