A MAN who was caught dealing cannabis while on early release from prison for peddling hard drugs is back in jail.

Mark Woodward tried to convince a jury his partner was a user who had been delivered too much cannabis by their dealer and he knew nothing about it.

But a jury rejected the 44-year-old’s explanation and found him guilty of possession with intent to supply.

Police executed a search warrant at the home of his partner Jacqueline Kennedy, 37, on Friday, March 22, last year.

In the couple’s bedroom they found four blocks of cannabis resin – known as nine bars as they weighed nine ounces – on top of a wardrobe and £700 cash in a safe.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the drugs weighed just under a kilogram and were worth up to £2,000.

He said the couple insisted full-time mum-of-three Kennedy was a heavy user of the drug and she had ordered one of the bars from her dealer, but she was out when the supplier arrived and he put four through their door by mistake.

Mr Meeke said Woodward was jailed for seven years at Bristol Crown Court in May 2010 for conspiracy to supply heroin.

The court also heard he was jailed in 1996 after he was caught with two kilograms of cannabis.

He said although his partner had some previous convictions they were from a long time ago and not for drugs matters.

The couple, of Whitworth Road, Pinehurst, both denied possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

Woodward was found guilty after a trial and Kennedy was convicted of simple possession of the drug, but cleared of the more serious charge.

Con Fernandes, defending, said Woodward was a doting father to three young children and had weaned himself off drugs.

He said he had taken up an apprenticeship with his father repairing washing machines and hoped to start his own business.

Mr Fernandes said it was difficult to know how much of the drugs belonged to Kennedy, bearing in mind her stance at the trial. She was also no longer using cannabis.

Judge Douglas Field said: “Mark Woodward, you are a man of 44 and you have a bad record for unrelated but serious offences but you also have a serious record for drug offending.

“The probation officer says in his report you have a prolonged, entrenched, pro-criminal attitude with regards to drugs.”

He jailed Woodward for 20 months, saying he was prevented from making it consecutive to the previous sentence he was serving at the time. He imposed a community order with 80 hours of unpaid work on Kennedy. He said: “You were living with a man who has entrenched, pro-criminal views with regard to drugs. He was the main player.”