Cannabis dealer avoids jail after being caught twice by police

The pair appeared at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

The pair appeared before Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A drug dealer has avoided going straight to jail after twice being caught with hundreds of pounds worth of cannabis. 

Charlie Moat appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday to face sentencing for two counts of possession with intent to supply cannabis and a third count of simple possession of cannabis

The 24-year-old admitted the offences at an earlier hearing before magistrates in Colchester on February 13.

Prosecutor Michael Allin said police spotted Moat passing something to another man at a bus stop near his address in Magdalen Street, Colchester, on May 24 last year.

Both men were stopped and searched by officers, who found Moat in possession of a mobile phone and £30, and the other man in possession of cannabis.

A further search of Moat's address turned up 156g of cannabis in bags of varying sizes and estimated to be worth at least £1,500. 

On October 20, Moat was again stopped by police after being seen getting into the passenger seat of a Ford in Gladstone Road.

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Following a short foot chase, Moat was found in possession of 127.5g of cannabis inside a rucksack, while another search of his home turned up three lumps of the drug.

Philippa Beswick, mitigating, said Moat had made full and frank admissions in both police interviews.

She said Moat had resumed dealing in order to pay off a debt incurred following his first arrest.

"He had recently lost his job as a Poundland store supervisor, and his family was in receipt of benefits, so there's no way he was able to pay the money off in the time requested.," she added.

"He has made significant changes - from being a heavy user of cannabis, to using none at all since Christmas."

Recorder Jeremy Benson said the offences had crossed the custody threshold, but that Moat's full admissions in interview, early guilty pleas and lack of previous convictions had worked in his favour.

He sentenced Moat to 14 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 120 hours of unpaid work, 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and a three-month overnight curfew.