'Merciful' judge gives chance to Chippenham man involved in drug trade
A Chippenham man who was again caught involved in the drugs trade has been given a chance by a judge who told him he was being 'merciful'.
Dale Meadows, 24, was found guilty of being concerned it the supply of cannabis following a trial at Swindon Crown Court last month.
And the court heard that Meadows had convictions for two similar matters from 2010 and 2012.
But of Friday a judge told him he was fortunate not to be going to jail after hearing he now had a job, a stable home and a girlfriend.
Meadows was convicted after text messages found on his phone showed his involvement in the dealing of cannabis.
Judge Douglas Field told Meadows' barrister: "You client gave evidence at trial and I accepted what he told the jury about his very unfortunate upbringing and chaotic life.
"In recent times he had found a girl who had been good to him, he has stable accommodation and a good job.
"Someone with his lack of education and opportunities, to have a job like that is a prize worth having.
"It is for these reasons that I am prepared to suspend the inevitable sentence of imprisonment.
"I am going to give you, as a matter of mercy, a chance to carry on making something of your life. You have a good job you have kept down.
"I am not going to pass a sentence which means you will lose your employment and accommodation.
"You are to be counted as fortunate. This is a chance, don't throw it all away."
He imposed a 15 month jail term, suspended for a year with 230 hours of unpaid work, and ordered he forfeit the £530 found on him when he was arrested and pay a £100 victim surcharge.
Meadows, of Sheldon Road, was found guilty of being involved in the drugs trade between Wednesday, April 17, and Saturday, April 20, last year.