A former soldier who was snared selling amphetamine to an undercover police officer has now been awarded for his inspirational efforts.
Nicholas Wright supplied the cop, who was posing as a drug user as part of a cover operation, with a wrap of amphetamine during a meeting in a city car park in Sunderland.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 37-year-old had given the officer his number during a conversation about drug supply a few weeks before they set up the illegal deal in October 2016.
When Wright's home was raided, almost a year later, police seized a small haul of cannabis.
Wright, of Rangoon Road, Redhouse, Sunderland, who was on a suspended sentence for burglary at the time, admitted supply of amphetamine and possession of cannabis.
The court heard since being caught in the undercover sting, Wright, who has a criminal record, has done so well with his rehabilitation that he was presented with a National Inspiration Award from the probation service.
Wright, who now does voluntary work and helps others, was handed the award during a ceremony at the Sage in Gateshead and was one of only a few people in the whole country to receive one.
Glen Gatland, defending, told the court: "He has completely changed. He has not touched drugs since. He has not committed further offences since.
"He has kept away from his previous peers."
Judge Tim Gittins sentenced Wright, who has been given help from the veterans association, to four months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a three-month night time curfew, rehabilitation requirements and a £150 fine.
The judge told him: "Your work was recognised nationally with an inspirational award at the end of last year.
"You remain focused on building a law abiding life for yourself and staying away from drugs.
"I think it would be unjust, in all the circumstances, to invoke or activate the suspended sentence or indeed to impose an immediate custodial sentence at this stage."