Man sold drugs to pay debts

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A GARSTANG man struggling with debt looked to ease his financial problems by using drugs money to pay household bills.

Antony Brierley had bought £400 worth of cannabis from Manchester dealers.

He intended selling some to friends, in order to repay his suppliers and use a small profit to meet his bills.

But Preston Crown Court heard how the drugs and others were seized when police executed a search warrant at his home in Croston Road, Garstang, in July.

Four cannabis plants were being grown in a greenhouse and there was cannabis bush in the conservatory area.

Officers also recovered two plastic bags containing amphetamine, said Mr Michael Maher, prosecuting.

Brierley, 37, had been committed by magistrates for sentencing at the crown court, having admitted offences of possessing cannabis with intent to supply, producing cannabis and possessing amphetamine.

The court heard that 69.18 grammes of cannabis found at the address.

When interviewed by police, Brierley made full and frank admissions.

He spoke of having bought a £400 batch of cannabis from dealers in Manchester.

Mr Maher told the court the defendant said he intended to sell some to friends, to repay the dealers and the small profit he would have made would have gone towards his household bills.

He would only have sold the drug to friends and this had begun around one month earlier.

He spoke of it being his first attempt to grow cannabis.

Mr James Paterson, defending, said his client had been struggling with debt and this was a reason behind his offending.

Others had written a number of references on his behalf, speaking of him in very glowing terms.

Mr Paterson said: “The defendant pleaded guilty at the very earliest opportunity. The offences were unsophisticated and involved a low quantity of drugs, low in value.

“The amphetamine had been left over from a party. It wasn’t his, but he had thought he might have use for it in future”.

Brierley was given an 18 month community order which will involve 150 hours unpaid work. For 12 weeks he will be on a nightly curfew, to run from 8pm-5am.