A CANNABIS dealer has been given a suspended sentence after he was caught with almost £2,000 in cash and £330 worth of drugs during a police raid on his home.

Ben Young also had scales and plastic grip bags in his bedroom as well as details of drug deals on his mobile phone.

The 21-year-old turned to dealing in an attempt to fund his own cannabis addiction, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said police recovered 32 grammes of the Class B drug in the home he shared with his mother.

"Although his bedroom was scarcely decorated, officers found a PlayStation and controller, high-end accessories, designer clothes and sets of scales. plastic snap bags and a wallet stuffed with cash," he said. "A bag of cannabis and several pairs of Nike trainers were also seized. His phone was seized and interrogated and this revealed he supplied cannabis.

"In interview he said he had a cannabis habit and was dealing mainly to his friends to cover the cost of his own use."

Mr Sabiston said: "The telephone shows he was dealing at street level. He was supplying quantities of half an ounce on occasion but the majority were £10 deals. He was purchasing one ounce deals and selling it on."

The court heard how a separate proceeds of crime act hearing to seize the £1,981 recovered from the address.

Young, of Thornton Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply following his arrest in September last year.

Ben Pegman, mitigating, accepted that his client turned to selling the drug to fund his own habit.

He said: "His own addiction to cannabis had left him short and he was unable to fund hos own addiction. It was a shortlived enterprise for a short period in August."

Urging the judge to pass a suspended sentence, Mr Pegman said Young had not smoked cannabis for three weeks and his new partner is 'anti-drugs'.

The father-of-one has barely seen his daughter since the beginning of lockdown but he is hoping to rebuild that relationship and had attended parenting classes to satisfy concerns from children's services.

He said Young is trying to turn his life around and is actively looking for work.

Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced Young to nine months in custody, suspended for 18 months.

"The author of your pre-sentence report says you are showing that you are trying to get your life in order," she said. "You're not without ambition, you want to do well for yourself and the report sets out various ways you intend to do that through education and employment.

"It seems to me that in recent times you have been trying to do things the right way and a custodial sentence will not help."

Young was also ordered to carry out 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.