A STAFFORD man was sucked in to storing drugs after falling into the clutches of a loan shark, a court heard.
Police found cannabis with a street value of more than £5,000 during a search raid on the home of Dean Smalley.
Also in the property was a single cannabis plant under cultivation, which Smalley was growing for his own use, said Fiona Cortese, prosecuting.
When questioned after his arrest, Smalley told police he had borrowed £50 when he was asked by someone to buy drugs, knowing that he couldn’t and pocketed the money.
But the debt was passed on to a person the defendant was in fear of and inflated to £800.
He was told that he could pay off some of it by looking after the cannabis.
A container was delivered to his house about a fortnight before the execution of the search warrant by the police on August 21 last year.
He knew there was cannabis inside, but not the quantity.
Smalley, aged 32, St David’s Road, Stafford was given a 12 month community order with drug rehabilitation, 150 hours’ unpaid community work and costs of £325. He admitted possessing drugs with intent to supply and producing cannabis.
Mark Nicholls, defending, said borrowing the money was a stupid thing Smalley had done after getting drunk at a funeral.
His arrest had been a catalyst to make him give up using cannabis completely.