A cannabis dealer attempted to throw a bag of drugs and flee from police after being arrested in his car.
Cameron Maddison has been tempted to provide weed as a way to earn money after his regular job dried up during the coronavirus lockdowns. The bet backfired, however, after officers stopped him in his Citroen on a street in Heaton in March last year.
A court heard the 26-year-old jumped from the driver’s seat and attempted to flee the scene, dropping a black backpack in the process. He later turned himself in after £1,200 worth of cannabis was found in the bag and his vehicle.
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Now Maddison, of Sunlea Avenue, Cullercoats, has narrowly avoided time behind bars after pleading guilty to possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply at Newcastle Crown Court.
District Judge Gary Garland, who sentenced him to 25 weeks in jail suspended for 12 months, said: “Trafficking in any kind of prohibited drug is a serious offense because it’s not just you who start causing problems for society are the people buying the drugs from you, most of whom live on the margins of society.
“Providing this service, if you can put it that way, only makes society worse for all of us. There is no doubt that you were involved with others in trafficking this cannabis.”
The court heard police spotted Maddison’s Citroen on Warwick Street around 1pm on March 5 last year and arrested him. Brian Payne, prosecuting, said: “The defendant exited the vehicle and fled with a black JD bag. He was later to throw the bag away and it was recovered.
“The defendant surrendered to a police officer who was nearby. The contents of the bag were nine packs of cannabis, worth £560. There was also a canister found in his car, which contained 11 packs of cannabis, worth £640.”
The court heard that digital scales and a mobile phone, containing messages indicating drug trafficking, were also seized from the vehicle.
Defending Michael Crowe said Maddison, who has no previous convictions, turned to supplying cannabis in a bid to make money after his normal job dried up during the coronavirus lockdowns . He added: “Mr Maddison found himself in financial difficulty and had to give up his flat and move back in with his parents. He needed to earn some money. He was making around £50-70 a shift, which was worth two shifts a week, selling the cannabis for others.”
Maddison was also fined £500 and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a victim fine surcharge of £128.