Suspended sentence for Doncaster man found with cannabis stash worth up to Â£16k
A Doncaster man found with a stash of cannabis worth up to Â£16,000 has avoided prison.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how Jason Martin's offending came to light, after his vehicle was stopped by police as he was travelling near to the exit for the A635 at Marr.
Prosecuting, Stephanie Hollis, said: "Officers recovered three bags containing what was found to be skunk cannabis in the rear-side passenger footwell."
She added: "The total weight of the three bags was 1.6kg, and a valuation statement has been provided.
"Each of these bags were found to have a value of between £3,200 - £4,400, with a total value of between £9,600 and £13,200 if sold in bulk.
"If it was broken down for street deals it would have a value in the region of £16,800."
Under police interview, Martin, of Chaucer Road, Mexborough told officers he had been to the north of the country to collect the bags and transport them, but said he did not know what was in them.
Martin, aged 29, later pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to supply cannabis, on the basis that he was simply acting as a 'courier' and not a drug dealer, when he was caught by police in March 2016.
This basis was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service. Ms Hollis told the court that a text message found on Martin's phone also corroborated his account.
Martin was convicted of the same offence in 2010, the court heard.
James Baird, defending, said: "He gives an explanation in the pre-sentence report that he agreed to act as a courier because his life was at an all-time low.
"He had split up from his long-term partner. She had left him, he started taking cocaine. He had fallen into bad company, he had got himself into debt and had lost his job."
Judge David Dixon sentenced Martin to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.
He said: "The Crown have accepted your basis of plea and you have been made to wait, through no fault of your own, for a considerable amount of time."