A DRUG dealer was found with more than £17,000 cash at his home and a cosh-type weapon in his car, a court heard.

Gareth Dobie had only been out of jail a little over three months for a previous offence of supplying cannabis when police raided his home in Oxford Road, Hartlepool, on January 8 this year.

They found £17,750 cash and a quantity of cannabis bush in a car parked on an adjacent driveway after finding two sets of car keys in the property.

The cosh was found in reach of the drivers' seat. In total 181 grams of cannabis were seized by police.

The prosecution in the case at Teesside Crown Court said 34-year-old Dobie had a “significant role” in drug dealing, although he himself claimed he was only a custodian of the cannabis for someone else.

He also said some of the cash was obtained through his gambling.

Dobie, of Oxford Road, who admitted possession of a class B drug with intent to supply and possession of an offensive weapon, gave a handwritten letter to Judge Howard Crowson expressing his regret at the impact his offending had.

His barrister Jim Withyman said he had been very frank with the police from the day he was arrested and entered timely guilty pleas when he appeared at court.

He had very foolishly allowed himself to get involved in the drugs supply chain after being put under pressure by others.

While in custody he had taken the opportunity to undertake various educational courses, Mr Withyman added.

Dobie, who has 18 previous criminal convictions, was jailed for two years by Judge Crowson and shouted “I love you” to a woman in the public gallery on being sent down from the dock.

The judge said that although he recognised he had caused his family yet more hardship, he had not learnt his lesson.

He said Dobie had a “trusted role” in the local drugs trade in Hartlepool and said the discovery of the cosh in his car was a worrying aspect.