A COUNCIL apprentice "sick of working for pennies" started dealing drugs to supplement his income, a court heard.

Daniel Green had crippling bills and was told by friends that selling cannabis and Ecstasy was the easiest was to make money.

His 'second job' was uncovered when police stopped his car in North Yorkshire and noticed a strong smell coming from the boot.

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Officers found 53 small bags of cannabis and seized more of the drug - worth a total of £1,195 - from his home.

Ecstasy worth £530 was found in a jacket pocket along with £500 in cash, Joanne Kidd, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court.

"He fully accepted he had been supplying cannabis for a period of time," said Miss Kidd. "He explained he saw it as a wage.

"He disclosed being sick of working for pennies and, effectively, was supplying cannabis to make a further living."

Green, of Elm Close, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, admitted possessing Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply.

He was jailed for 18 months after Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, told him: "You took a risk and the risk was going to prison."

Amrit Jandoo, mitigating, had earlier urged the judge not to lock up Green as he was due to start his full-time council job.

He said the 24-year-old had completed his apprenticeship with North Yorkshire County Council's waste management department.

"With an immediate custodial sentence, he stands to lose a great deal," Mr Jandoo told the court. "He is remorseful.

"He has the prospect of contributing to society a great deal following an unfortunate situation of his own making.

"Bailiffs were sending him quite aggressive letters for debts pertaining to council tax and utility bills.

"The way in which he dealt with this was particularly misguided. Associates said a quick fix out of this would be by dealing drugs."

Judge Bourne-Arton told Green: "You decided that you would supplement your income by dealing in drugs.

"In doing that, you took a risk - the risk, of course, that you would make some money but if you were caught you would go to prison.

"Well, of course, you had to lose a great deal by the decision you made and those who deal in drugs go to prison."