A drug dealer has been jailed after police caught him with two-and-a-half kilos of cannabis worth a potential £25,000.
Ian William Graham, 37, was stopped in his car on the A1 near Harrogate, where officers found a drug trove with a bulk value of £12,500.
York Crown Court heard that the cannabis could have fetched up to £25,000 if sold on the street.
Graham, a former oil rigger, was charged with possessing 2.5kg of cannabis with intent to supply, but initially denied the offence. A trial was scheduled but Graham pleaded guilty before a jury was sworn in, on the basis that he was a drug courier for a supplier to whom he owed debts.
Prosecuting barrister Matthew Collins said Graham’s car was stopped on April 16, when police found a huge amount of cannabis stuffed inside tubs.
He said Graham had eight previous convictions for offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, which resulted in a six-year prison sentence in 2011. It was after his release from jail that Graham became hooked on cannabis, blaming prison for his addiction.
Defence barrister Kieran Rainey said Graham, of Yarm Road, Stockton-on-Tees, had got hooked on cannabis and owed a £1,200 debt to his dealer, who agreed to give him drugs on credit.
But as Graham’s debts soared, the dealer threatened to call them in unless the cannabis addict agreed to become a drug courier for him.
The court heard that Graham had been instructed to go to North Yorkshire with instructions sell cannabis and help clear his debts.
To add to Graham’s woes, he was sacked from his job for poor performance and repeatedly turning up late.
Mr Rainey asked Recorder David Dixon to suspend the inevitable jail sentence because Graham was a carer for his seriously-ill mother.
But Mr Dixon said that despite signs that Graham was trying to turn his life around, prison was unavoidable “because this (offence) is simply too serious”.
Graham was jailed for nine months and ordered to pay a court surcharge.