A motorist who assaulted a policeman who caught him with £20,000 worth of drugs in his car has been handed a community order.

Solomon Skinner had almost two kilograms of cannabis when he was stopped in Melksham on Monday, February 4, last year.

But after hearing he was just delivering the package after picking it up from a mystery man at the Chippenham Sainsbury's car park a judge put him on a community order.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Friday how PC Jonathan Fairburn stopped the car and could immediately smell cannabis.

The 28-year-old driver immediately pointed out a bag containing an ounce of resin in the door pocket but then tried to drive away.

The officer reached in and tried to grab the car key, which broke in the ignition during the struggle, leading to the burly driver pushing him to the ground and running off.

PC Fairburn, who suffered a skinned knuckle and bruised hip, got up and gave chase, catching Skinner in a dead-end alleyway with high fences at the end.

He found he had 1.98kg of the drug on him and in the car the police found £4,775 in cash in four neat bundles of one thousand pounds with the rest in a fifth.

When he was questioned he admitted assaulting the officer and said he had picked the drugs up from an unknown man at the supermarket.

He was to give them to another person he did not know, receiving the ounce of resin, worth £270, as payment.

Skinner, of Willsbridge Hill, Bristol, admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply, simple possession and assaulting a police officer with intent to resist arrest.

He pleaded not guilty a charge of to possessing criminal property, in the form of the cash The court heard he had a number of convictions for possession of cannabis but none for being involved in supply.

Chris Smyth, defending, said his client had run up a debt to his dealer and was asked to do this as payment along with the resin.

He said he worked as a self employed tree surgeon earning about £300 a week but had an overdraft and other debts.

Recorder Richard Onslow imposed a one year community order with 180 hours of unpaid work and pay a £60 victim surcharge.