A YOUNG drug dealer from Coventry was ordered not to look at the judge, but at his weeping mother in the public gallery as he narrowly escaped being jailed for selling cannabis.
Ryan Cook was appearing at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to possessing dozens of bags of cannabis with intent to supply them.
Cook (22) of Allesley Old Road was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 12 months, with an 8pm-5am electronically-monitored curfew for two months, and was ordered to pay £340 costs.
Prosecutor Olivia Appleby said that on January 29 police officers on patrol in the Stoke area of Coventry came across a car with three occupants, including Cook.
There was a strong smell of cannabis, although the three claimed they had none with them, so the officers began to carry out a search of the car.
But then Cook told one of them: “You might as well take this now, mate, because you’re going to find it anyway.”
He handed over a draw-string bag with a further three bags in it containing a total of 57 small bags of cannabis.
Cook was arrested, and another deal bag of cannabis and a foil wrap of the drug were found on him.
And when his home was then searched another large bag of cannabis was found in a safe in his bedroom, although Miss Appleby said no valuation had been carried out on the seized drugs.
Before being addressed by Henry Skudra, defending, Judge Peter Cooke said: “I’ve read the pre-sentence report. What emerges is that we have a young man here, 22, of previous good character and in work.
“He got himself into some debt and was at a pretty low ebb, and went from using to trying to pay off a debt by earning money on the side by doing this.”
Mr Skudra, who said there was a letter from Cook’s mother, who was in the public gallery, said he was ‘clearly a hard-working young man’ who had done an apprenticeship and was a qualified bricklayer.
Sentencing Cook, Judge Cooke told him: “Don’t look at me, look at your mum. Look at the state she’s in.
“You’re 22. Do you think she wants a drug dealer as a son and to watch him go down the stairs [to the cells], or a hard-working bricklayer?
“The fact that you have not been in trouble before and are a young man mitigates this.
“Although you have been a confounded idiot, I think you are basically a decent young man.”
And reserving any breach of the suspended sentence to himself, the judge warned Cook: “Do not come back before the court. Do not blow it.”
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