Driving through a red light came close to landing Doncaster dad Wayne Fox in jail.
The 22-year-old had just been smoking cannabis in his new car and when police went to his house they found more of the drug in production.
But having sole care of his four-year-old daughter, Samantha, who has not yet started school, helped persuade the judge at Doncaster Crown Court to impose a suspended prison sentence on the defendant.
Fox, who has no previous convictions for drugs offences, admitted to police he was a heavy user of cannabis when he was picked up last March.
His barrister told the court he had ‘learned a lesson’ from his arrest.
Fox admitted offences of drugs supply, possession with intent, and production of cannabis.
Recorder James Hill QC sentenced him to 12 months’ prison, suspended for a year after hearing the mitigation and reading background reports.
He also ordered Fox to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work for the community and to stay at home every night from 8pm to 6am for the next two months.
Prosecutor Neil Coxon said Fox was driving a Ford Mondeo in the town centre when he went through a red light and was stopped by police officers.
The officers could immediately smell cannabis from inside the vehicle and he readily admitted having just smoked a joint.
A search of the car uncovered more cannabis, more than £400 cash in his wallet and a receipt for the car which he had recently bought for almost £2,500 in cash.
After his arrest police went to Fox’s home on Cromwell Road, Bentley, and discovered about £300 worth of cannabis in bags and a small hydroponic system being used to raise five cannabis plants in a tent in a bedroom.
Fox told the officers he had a ‘high dependency’ on cannabis and had started producing his own to share with friends.
Michael Upson, defending, said Fox ‘cannot work because he looks after a four-year-old child and his only asset is his car. He has learned a considerable lesson’.
The judge said Fox’s early guilty plea and having sole care of Samantha had saved him from immediate custody.
“It is fair to give you the chance to prove that this is a blip and you can be a good father and keep away from criminal activity,” he said.