A DRUG-DEALING paperboy was caught after he was rumbled on his round by police.
Alexander MacKenzie had 13 wraps of cannabis on him after beat bobbies stopped him on his bike in Seaham.
The 18-year-old denied he was selling the drugs when quizzed, but put in a guilty plea at court on the basis he had sold to a limited number of friends and made no profit.
He also said he bought in bulk, usually £200 worth, and sold it at cost value in small amounts.
MacKenzie, who admitted possession with intent to supply, was given 20 weeks in a Young Offenders’ Institution, suspended for 12 months, when he appeared before Peterlee Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecutor Clare Irving said police saw MacKenzie as they were carrying out an operation to deal with nuisance pedal cyclists.
She said: “They came across the defendant who had a newspaper delivery sack and was clearly delivering newspapers.
“Pc Bowmaker approached him and MacKenzie attempted to run off.
“He grabbed hold of his paper sack to stop him from running away and he was taken to the ground for his trouble and he was searched.
“From the right side pocket of his tracksuit, 13 small, clear, self-sealed bags, which contained what was clearly a herbal material and weighted 26gramms in total, were found.
“The officer suspected it was cannabis and he was arrested.
“When the defendant was taken to the police station he admitted possessing the drug but not the supply.
“He was asked about his movements and said he got out of bed at about 7am, went and got his skunk from across the bushes because he didn’t keep it in his house and made his paper round.
“He said he had 12 or 13 self-sealed bags and he bought it the night before for £200, but wouldn’t say where from and said it was for himself.
“He said that would last him a week to 10 days.”
Alison Banks, mitigating, told District Judge Michael Wood the enterprise had been on a small scale and urged him to pass sentence rather than pass the case on to the crown court.
Mr Wood had earlier warned he was considering a custodial sentence and sending it to a higher court because of its nature.
MacKenzie, of Newlands Road West, Northlea, Seaham, was also given supervision for 12 months and ordered to pay £85 costs.
Judge Wood told him: “I hope you realise now just how serious this is.
“I think that’s obviously been brought home to you by the probation officer and Mrs Banksas well.”