No jail for man who of­fered drugs to Pc

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS IN BRIEF - Court re­porter

A SMALL-TIME drug dealer who tried to sell cannabis to a plain­clothed po­lice­man out­side a block of flats has avoided be­ing jailed.

Ron­han McEr­lean, 31, of Vin­cent Street, Spon End, Coven­try, had pleaded guilty to pos­sess­ing cannabis with in­tent to sup­ply it.

But at the crown court in Leam­ing­ton he was sen­tenced to eight months in prison sus­pended for 12 months and or­dered to do 100 hours of un­paid work.

Pros­e­cu­tor Blon­delle Thomp­son said that in March a po­lice of­fi­cer in plain clothes went to the Trafal­gar House flats in Spon End, Coven­try.

While he was out­side, McEr­lean cy­cled up to him and asked who he was look­ing for, and he said he was af­ter Joe.

McEr­lean told him: “Joe’s moved out. Is it weed you’re af­ter?”

The of­fi­cer did not re­ply, but McEr­lean per­sisted: “If it is weed you’re af­ter, I work with Joe and I’ve got weed.”

He then pro­duced four £10 bags of cannabis, at which the of­fi­cer told him: “I wasn’t look­ing for weed; I’m a po­lice of­fi­cer.”

McEr­lean threw the bike at him and ran off, throw­ing away his phone and the bags of cannabis as he did so, but they were re­cov­ered af­ter he was chased and caught.

Miss Thomp­son added that McEr­lean had pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions in­clud­ing one for pos­sess­ing about 100 bags of cannabis with in­tent to sup­ply, for which he had been jailed for eight months in 2011.

David Mur­ray, de­fend­ing, said: “He un­der­stands cus­tody will be at the fore­front of Your Hon­our’s mind, but I would sub­mit a sus­pended sen­tence might be ap­pro­pri­ate.”

He said McEr­lean had re­placed al­co­hol, which had led to his ear­lier of­fend­ing, with cannabis which he used to help calm him­self down.”

Of the of­fence, Mr Mur­ray added: “This was the height of folly by some­one who is deal­ing on his own be­half to sup­ple­ment his own use.” Sen­tenc­ing McEr­lean, Recorder Lance Ashworth QC told him: “You are a man who clearly has a drug habit in re­la­tion to cannabis.

“On the 18th of March you ap­proached a po­lice of­fi­cer, not know­ing he was a po­lice of­fi­cer, in an at­tempt to sell him drugs; and not sur­pris­ingly he ar­rested you for that.

“You made com­ments at the po­lice sta­tion, say­ing you can’t be­lieve you had been so stupid as to get in­volved in deal­ing in drugs in that way.”

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