A 32-year-old Great Blakenham drug dealer who was found in possession of cannabis twice in three days when he was stopped by police while driving his BMW has been given a suspended prison sentence.

On the first occasion on September 30, 2020, when Christopher Shayler was stopped in Sproughton at around 3pm police found 17g of cannabis worth £150 and a set of scales in the vehicle, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Shayler told police they would find more cannabis at his home and when officers went to his address they found a further 60g of cannabis worth £400, a set of scales and a mobile phone, said David Baird, prosecuting.

Dominic Hamilton, who was a passenger in the car, had run off when police pulled the vehicle over and while he was being chased he was seen to discard a bag containing 7g of cannabis worth around £90 and a knuckleduster.

A mobile phone was also discovered, along with a small amount of cannabis in his sock.

On October 2, Shayler was again stopped by police as he was driving his BMW in Ipswich and this time the police found 7g of cannabis.

When two phones belonging to him were analysed they were found to contain text messages indicative of him being involved in the supply of cannabis, said Mr Baird.

Shayler, 32, of Roman Close, Great Blakenham, admitted two offences of possessing cannabis with intent to supply and one offence of being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

He was given an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years, a 35-day rehabilitation requirement and ordered to do 150 hours' unpaid work.

Shayler was due to have been legally represented at the sentencing hearing on Thursday (April 22) but the court was told his barrister had Covid and couldn’t attend.

As a result of strike action by barristers who are refusing to accept returns – where a barrister steps in to represent a defendant whose original barrister is unable to attend court - Shayler was told his case would have to be adjourned.

However, he asked to represent himself and told the court that he was committed to changing his life.

Last month Hamilton, 22, of Thornham Road, Bury St Edmunds, admitted possessing cannabis and an offensive weapon and was given a 15-month community order, a 30-day rehabilitation requirement days and 40 hours' unpaid work.