Dealer sniffed out by police

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A CANNABIS dealer caught by chance has been warned he faces jail if he gets mixed up in drugs again.

Dad-of-four Ronald Keenan, 54, was caught with almost £500 worth of skunk cannabis at his home and nearly £1,000 in cash.

Police were called to his house on an unrelated matter but noticed a strong smell of cannabis in the house.

He handed over drugs and cash and later confessed to selling the cannabis to friends to fund his own habit.

Keenan, who has chronic lung disease, featured in the Mail last year when he told how an £11,000 ventilator paid for by readers saved his life.

He was spared jail when he appeared at Teesside Crown to be sentenced for the cannabis dealing.

But the judge warned he could expect to be jailed if he makes the same mistake again.

The court heard how police were called to a disturbance in Addison Road, Hartlepool, on Tuesday, March 1.

Sharon Elves, prosecuting, said: “All was quiet on arrival at the property.

“However, officers detected a strong smell of cannabis and in the kitchen officers recovered a box containing what they thought was a vegetable material and other items.

“They spoke to the defendant who admitted that the material was cannabis and handed it over along with some digital scales.

“When police arrested him he said ‘it’s all mine, it’s skunk. It’s nothing to do with anyone else’.”

In total there was 48.33 grams of the drug estimated to have a street value of £483.30.

He also had £955 cash in his wallet which has since been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said: “It’s small scale retail supply to a few friends rather than anything beyond that.”

The court heard his last conviction was 20 years ago.

Keenan, of Addison Road, Hartlepool, admitted possessing a class B drug with intent to supply.

He was given a community order with six months supervision and a three-month curfew from 7pm to 7am.

Recorder Bryan Cox QC said: “I give you credit for your plea of guilty and for the efforts you have made over the last couple of decades to put your offending behind you.

“Although you should be aware if you get caught in the future with a significant amount of cannabis then your position may be far more difficult and you would be at risk of a custodial sentence if you get involved in this sort of thing again.”