A FATHER has been spared an immediate trip to jail for drug offences so that he can look after his young son.

Rob Galley, prosecuting, said police found skunk cannabis, drug dealing paraphernalia and cocaine when they raided Peter John Russell’s home in Pickering on September 7, 2018.

They also found £2,755 in cash, York Crown Court heard.

Magistrates later made an order confiscating the money.

Russell, 39, of Old Farm Close, Pickering, claimed to police he was a heavy user of drugs.

But when the case came before the courts, he pleaded guilty to possessing the skunk cannabis with intent to supply it, and possessing cocaine.

He also admitted offering to supply cocaine on one occasion on the basis that he was acting as an intermediary between a friend and a supplier.

“If I take away your liberty even for a short time, the effect on your young son will be dramatic,” said Judge Simon Hickey.

He suspended a 12-month prison sentence for two years on condition Russell does 25 days’ rehabilitation activities and 150 hours’ unpaid work.

For him, Graham Parkin said he sold cannabis to fund his own habit.

“There is a lot of good in him,” said the solicitor advocate.

Since the raid, Russell had reduced his drug taking to zero.

He had also had a lot of debts and he had worked hard to “reduce these considerably.”

Mr Galley told the court police found a total of 80g of skunk cannabis at Russell’s house.

They also found electronic scales and bags of the kind used by drug dealers.

There were scores of messages on Russell’s phone relating to drug dealing going back to March last year.