A TEENAGER escaped a custodial sentence for his second conviction for drug supply, after a judge said he was “taking a chance” in his case.

Nineteen-year-old Peter Hudson was given a 15-month sentence in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for two years, after admitting possessing cannabis with intent to supply, plus possession of cocaine and being concerned in its supply.

Durham Crown Court heard that it related to events in Seaham, County Durham, on the evening of May 5, last year.

Police followed a Renault Clio which sped off from Dalton-le-Dale, but the patrol vehicle picked it up again by the time it turned into Holyhead Close, in nearby Seaham.

The Clio stopped outside a house, but Hudson emerged from the car and ran away, discarding a bag from his pocket before jumping over a fence.

He returned later and was arrested, and, when other officers arrived on scene a sniffer dog search was made in the area.

It revealed a further package, similar to the one discarded by Hudson, but recovered by police.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said a bag containing 1.83g of cocaine was found in the glove box of the Clio, but it was accepted this was probably for personal use.

The sniffer dog led the police to the house outside which the Clio was stopped, and a woman who came to the door told the officers: “It’s in the bathroom.”

She took them to the bathroom where a white carrier bag was found, containing 29.3g of cannabis, worth £293.

Mr Baker said a set of scales and a mobile phone were also recovered and analysis of the messages it contained made it clear he was involved in street dealing of cannabis, while he was also asked about supply of cocaine in one request.

The court heard he has a previous conviction for possessing cannabis with intent to supply, in 2012, when aged 16, and was made subject of a youth rehabilitation order.

Tony Cornberg, mitigating, said at the time of the more recent offences, in May last year, Hudson, of Dawdon Crescent, Seaham, was only aged 17, and was “hanging round” a lot with other people.

But he has made efforts in recent months to abstain from alcohol and drugs and has a job offer.

Judge Simon Hickey told Hudson: “It’s concerning that these offences are so serious, and yet you have done it before.

“But the latest offences go back to May last year, and, as far as I know, there’s been nothing since.

“You are still young and immature, and I’m going to take a chance in your case.”

Apart from the suspended sentence Judge Hickey made Hudson subject of a six-month 7pm to 7am home curfew.