A cannabis dealer has been given a suspended sentence after a judge ruled it would be a waste of public money to lock him up.
Philip Cooper was caught with thousands of pounds worth of cannabis but the court heard he is a full-time carer for his wife who suffers significant health problems.
The coiurt heard she uses a wheelchair and may even need to have her legs amputated.
Cooper was caught with cannabis valued at £3,145 hidden in his kitchen, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Cooper told police he was selling skunk cannabis and resin in individual deals of £15 and £10.
Andrew Teate, defending, said Cooper is the full time carer for his wife.
“She attends court today in a wheelchair,” Mr Teate told the court.
“She has significant problems with her legs, which may have to be amputated.
“Mr Cooper is her full time carer, and while he does have a record he has not been in trouble since 1997.”
Cooper, 57, of Lime Crescent, Hartlepool, admitted possession of a class B drug with intent to supply it.
Judge Sean Morris sentenced Cooper to 10 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and a curfew of four months.
The judge told him: “If I were to send you to prison it would cost public money to keep you there.
“You are the carer for your wife, and more public money would need to be spent caring for her while you are inside.
“Instead, I am going to lock you up in your own home.
“Cannabis is not a safe drug, particularly skunk cannabis.
“People do weird things after taking it.
“I recognise you are the carer for your disabled wife, and you deserve some credit for your frank admissions to the police.”
The judge ordered confiscation and destruction of the cannabis found in Cooper’s house.
He also ordered for the confiscation of £30 cash he had on arrest.