Hartlepool cannabis dealer spared jail as judge says it is in 'best interests of society'

A cannabis dealer has been spared jail after a judge said it was the best way for him to be rehabilitated and repay the community he damaged.

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 6:00 am

Carl Abbey was caught with over 200 grams of cannabis and £1,785 in cash when police carried out a drugs warrant on his home in Elwick Road in Hartlepool.

It came after fed-up residents in the area contacted the police.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a class B drug with intent to supply at Teesside Crown Court on Friday, November 12.

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The case took place at Teesside Crown Court.

Analysis of mobile phone messages showed he was dealing at the time of his arrest in October 2019.

There were texts from people asking for prices for the cannabis, and from Abbey advertising it as ‘proper lovely’.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said police seized just over 275 grams of cannabis worth up to £2,300 which had been broken down into smaller deal amounts.

She said: "The police drugs expert comments a person in possession of this amount of cannabis along with those text messages is clearly supplying directly to users of the drug.”

Carl Abbey was arrested after a drugs warrant by police in Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Abbey, 32, had previous convictions for growing cannabis and possession with intent to supply.

The judge, Recorder Peter Makepeace, said: “I’m satisfied from the text messages there was a clear intention on your part to make significant financial gain in this case.”

The court heard Abbey has mental health difficulties including anxiety but is now ready to address his issues so he does not offend again.

Abbey was given a suspended prison sentence as it was said it offered the best chance to prevent him reoffending.

Recorder Makepeace added: “I’m persuaded that it’s in the best interests of our society that you have the opportunity to rehabilitate and that’s best done in the community.

"In the pre-sentence report you indicate you are sorry for what you have done to the local neighbourhood and people who were obviously potentially damaged by your offending and felt so concerned that they had to contact the police.

"Well, this is your opportunity to pay something back to that community.”

Abbey was given 12 months prison suspended for 18 months, plus 150 hours unpaid community work and 20 rehabilitation activity days.

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