Wirral youth sold cannabis to pay off debt, court is told

11:09am Tuesday 6th November 2012

By Lynda Roughley

A YOUTH caught with cannabis worth £2,500 had the drug to sell to pay off a debt and finance his own £20 a day habit, a court has heard.

Lewis Marsden was arrested after police raided his home in Royden Road, Overchurch, Birkenhead with a search warrant.

He admitted there were "items of interest to them" in a store cupboard, "some weed" and officers found a total of 176 grammes of cannabis in envelopes and bags.

Mobile phones and cash were also seized and text messages on the phones involved requests for cannabis, said Robert Jansen, prosecuting.

At the time of the raid in March this year he was the subject of a youth rehabilitation order for possessing cannabis with intent which he breached the same month.

Sentencing Marsden, now 18, the judge, Recorder John Barrett said: "It is clear to me that someone on benefits with a £20 a day drug habit is funding that through a commercial operation in which you are providing drugs to others."

He Imposed a four month sentence of detention suspended for 12 months and imposed a community order with attendance for nine months on a drugs rehabilitation programme. Marsden had pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent.

Hayley Cooper, defending, said that he had been working in a fast food restaurant but had lost his job.

He committed the offence to pay for his own habit and to repay a debt but had no influence on those higher up the drugs chain.

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