A drug dealer who was caught by police hiding hundreds of pounds worth of cannabis in his TUMBLE DRYER has been spared jail.
Christopher Kelly was stopped by officers and found with £20 worth of the class B drug at 9pm on March 21 last year.
They seized the 28-year-old’s phone and found a “dealer’s list” containing the names and numbers of his customers.
Police then searched his house and found marijuana worth £120 stashed in a tumble dryer and 81.8 grams, valued at £690, in the airing cupboard.
A court heard Kelly ran his drug dealing operation from the property in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., which he shared with his partner and young children.
On Wednesday he pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply but avoided jail at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court .
Recorder Nigel Daly sentenced Kelly to eight months in jail, suspended for 18 months, with supervision.
He told the court: “I am disturbed by the fact there were children present in the house.”
Kelly was also ordered to undertake 80 hours of unpaid work as well as an 18-month drug rehabilitation requirement.
Prosecutor Fiona Cortese said police became suspicious when they saw Kelly and another man pull up in a car near Wellington Court flats in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.
She added: “They saw the defendant drive off and police stopped the car.
“The defendant was searched and a newspaper wrapping was recovered containing 4.97 grams of cannabis vegetation worth #20.
“His mobile was seized and he was arrested. In custody police seized £65 together with a note containing names and numbers.”
Miss Cortese told the court officers then searched Kelly’s home where they found hundreds of pounds worth of cannabis.
She added: “The defendant’s mobile phone was analysed and was found to contain texts indicative of the supply of cannabis vegetation.”
Stuart Muldoon, defending, said Kelly was still smoking cannabis but had moved out of the family home in an attempt to conquer his addition.
He told the court Kelly is now in full-time work and his partner and children would become victims if he was sent to prison.
Mr Muldoon added: “He was supplying a drug to which he was addicted. His life spiralled once he lost his employment.
“The longer he was unemployed the more time he was using drugs. He became indebted to those supplying him.
“He felt he had no option but to supply drugs to maintain his own use. He now accepts that is absolutely wrong and he had a choice not to use drugs.”
The judge ruled he benefited from his criminality by £3,355 but only ordered him to repay the available amount of £225 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.