Judge tells dealer to quit drugs and crime

Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A drug dealer from Halstead has been told to avoid cannabis and make a go of his life after being spared jail.

Joshua Murdy, of Abels Road, pleaded guilty to possession of 42 grammes of cannabis with intent to supply, between November 24 and December 2, at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday. He was also in breach of a suspended sentence imposed for a similar offence in April 2013.

Prosecutor Robert Sadd said police had searched the 20-year-old’s home and found 13 small bags of herbal cannabis. Murdy said he had sold eight bags for £10 each. He had £365 cash on him.

In mitigation, Andrew Clowser said his client had succeeded in giving up the class B drug for two weeks but, after going out with friends, “got the smell of cannabis again”. He sold his Yamaha bike for £400 and used £220 to buy the drug.

“Word got round among mates that he had a bit of cannabis and, from time to time, they came round to his home address,” said Mr Clowser.

“He was not street dealing. It was an ad-hoc arrangement.”

Judge John Dodd QC told Murdy that he would not be sent to prison, but he should stop smoking cannabis.

“You are 20 and it’s a critical stage in your young life,” he said.

“You have a choice to make, either to follow a life of crime or to take advantage of the opportunity I am giving to you – to prove to your mother and yourself you can make a decent go of your life.

“It is your age which troubles me. Smoking cannabis, particularly when young, can actually affect one’s brain.”

The judge imposed a 12-month community order, with 100 hours’ unpaid work and a requirement to attend an intense probation course, and ten days employment, training and education activity.

He also confiscated the £365 Murdy had on him when arrested.

In April, Murdy received a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, for supplying and possession of cannabis.