Lincoln drug dealer sold cannabis to pay off debts to criminals
A Lincoln man has been given a six-month suspended jail sentence after he was caught with drugs valued at more than £4,500.
Gary Lane, 32, was spared prison after a judge accepted he was coerced into dealing to pay off his own drug debts.
Lincoln Crown Court heard Lane was found with the haul of cannabis and amphetamines after police stopped a car he was driving on Tritton Road.
Christopher Gabbitas, prosecuting, said officers quickly noticed a distinctive smell coming from the vehicle and Lane handed over a small amount of cannabis.
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Further quantities of cannabis were discovered in the footwell and boot during a search of the car, along with a small amount of white paste later identified as amphetamines and a set of scales.
More than £200 in cash was also recovered from a DVD box in the glove compartment together with a lock knife used to cut the drugs, Mr Gabbitas added.
The street value of the drugs was later estimated at £2,534 for the cannabis and £2,130 for the amphetamines.
Lane made no comment during police interview but later claimed he had been coerced in to dealing by more hardened criminals to pay off his own drug debts.
Text messages from two mobile phones recovered from Lane showed he had been dealing both cannabis and amphetamines for only a short period before he was stopped by the police, the court heard.
Lane, of Alness Close, Lincoln, pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing drugs with intent to supply and having a bladed article after he was stopped on May 11, last year.
He was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and placed under the supervision of a probation officer for 18 months. He must also pay an £80 victims' surcharge.
Passing sentence, Recorder David Mason QC told Lane he had come "fairly close" to jail.
But Recorder Mason added: "It seems to me that sending you to custody, apart from punishing you for a short period, would not do the public any good."