Calne man who sold drugs when work hours cut spared jail
A Calne man who turned to growing and dealing cannabis when his hours were cut back at work has been spared a jail term.
Matthew Deneka was caught when his car was stopped by police for other matters and they found a Family Circle biscuit tin with drug deals in it.
And when officers went to the 24-year-old's home they found him growing cannabis plants in the bedroom.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Friday that officers pulled the car over on Wednesday, March 5.
As they spoke to the driver they could smell drugs and when they looked in the biscuit tin they found 14 clear plastic zip lock bags containing cannabis and £60 in cash.
She said the drugs were in half gram street deals and had a total value of just under £200.
The police then went to his flat where they found the seven plants growing under strip lights fitted in a wardrobe in one of the bedrooms.
Miss Hingston said text messages on his phone also indicated he had been operating as a low level dealer.
Deneka, of Kingfisher Court, Calne, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply and production of cannabis.
Marcus Davey, defending, told the court his client fell into selling to friends when he got into financial difficulties.
He said: "He was working and his hours were reduced. Because his hours were reduced he began to run up debts.
"Because people knew he was buying for his own use they asked if they could buy some."
Passing sentence Recorder Ian Lawrie QC said: "You have pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis and cannabis production.
"I have to emphasise on both matters on a relatively minor scale but it is illegal and it won't be tolerated.
"I have to ask myself does it cross the threshold to merit custody or a community order, it certainly merits a community order."
Imposing a 12 month order with a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement he said: "You are being given an opportunity Mr Deneka, don't squander it."