A 21-year-old man caught possessing and supplying class A and class B drugs has been spared prison – but warned: "You had one chance and this was it."
The Royal Court heard yesterday that police raided the home of Paulo Daniel Luis Freitas early in the morning of 20 January and uncovered four illegal drugs.
They found 500g of cannabis and 150 MDMA tablets – both of which he was planning to sell – as well as 47g of cannabis resin and five tablets of LSD.
They also found messages on his phone that were evidence of drug dealing.
Freitas was first interviewed by police the same day. Advocate Simon Crowder, prosecuting, said: "Most of his answers were 'no comment' but he said he used one or two grams of cannabis to help with knee pain."
Later at the Magistrate's Court he pleaded guilty to charges of possession of controlled drugs and possession of drugs with intent to supply them.
He said he had begun dealing drugs to pay off £7,000 of debts.
Freitas had no previous convictions but was deemed to be at moderate risk of reconviction, so Advocate Crowder recommended a prison sentence of three years and six months.
Advocate Heidi Heath, defending, said Freitas realised prison was a possibility but argued for a community sentence instead.
She said he had had "a difficult background" but had been only 20 at the time of the offence, had a previous clean record, entered guilty pleas early and had several positive character references.
She said: "He was a young offender, much more likely to make impulsive and ill-judged decisions without considering the consequences. Now he is a forward-thinking, responsible young man."
Bailiff Timothy Le Cocq said the Jurats took the grounds for mitigation on board and were imposing 456 hours of community service instead of prison. They also imposed a two-year probation order.
But he said of the sentence: "This was not a foregone conclusion. It is a risk, in a sense, which the court is taking based on what you have told us. We think you have a chance to turn your life around."
He added: "Do not ever be here again. You had one chance and this was it."
The Jurats presiding were Collette Crill, Charles Blampied, Rozanne Thomas, Andrew Cornish and David Le Heuzé.
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