A JUDGE has been told how a drug dealer caught peddling cannabis took his arrest as a chance to turn his life around.

Sabin Thapa was delivering packages in Old Town when he was stopped by the police on October 29 last year.

And when the 29-year-old’s house was searched officers found a dealer’s list which contained names and amounts of money owed for them.

But after hearing Thapa had been using cannabis in Nepal before coming to the UK and was straightening out his life a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court when his car was stopped he was found with seven wraps in the vehicle.

“He said he had been up in Old Town to sell some to Rich. At his home was a dealer’s list. It speaks for itself,” he said.

“In interview he said he was a heavy user and selling some to support his habit.”

Thapa, of Milton Road, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

Lauren Seager, defending, told the court that he had been buying drugs in bulk for friends to get them cheaper.

But she said he accepted he had also moved on to sell some to help fund his own use of the drug.

Since his arrest she said he had become unemployed but now had a new job at Costa Coffee and was looking to start college next year doing fine art.

She said: “It seems the arrest and prosecution seems to had had the desired effect of bringing home to him the responsibility he must have.

Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “I accept that your basis for using cannabis arose from your earlier life in Nepal.

“When you came to this country I accept that you after a while you became part of a small group of like-minded friends who pooled their money to buy their cannabis in rather greater quantities to pay less for it.

“I accept on this you made no profit from it but even that has an element of financial gain. I accept your role: low-level dealing.

“I am satisfied that the evidence in this case showed you were rather more involved than that. It became rather more than a group of friends buying in bulk.

“I take the view that your part in the supply of cannabis, albeit low level, was significant.

“The pre-sentence report tells me you are prepared to do something about your drug taking.

“It is said on your behalf that your being arrested for drug dealing has brought you up short and I am prepared to accept that."

He imposed an eight-month sentence suspended for two years with 250 hours of unpaid work and a £100 surcharge.