Drug dealer spared jail after becoming a dad and 'growing up'

Lee Cooke
Lee Cooke

A drug dealer who was caught with a haul of cannabis and cash at his home has been spared jail.

Officers found 57 separate bags of the class b drug, along with micro scales, £400 and a dealer's "cash book" when they searched Lee Cooke's house in December 2016.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the total drugs had a street value of between £892 and £1,554.

Prosecutor Jolyon Perks added: "When a notepad was examined it was clearly a cash book for onward sale transactions in relation to cannabis.

"It showed he dealt for profit and was able to offer credit as well.

"The Crown's case is he was a commercial supplier of cannabis on a street level basis."

Cooke, 28, of Regent Street, Hetton, admitted possessing cannabis with intent and has been sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours unpaid work.

Judge Tim Gittins told him: "You had a significant quantity of high strength cannabis that was divided up into bags, ready for onward supply.

"It was clear you were doing that rather than having it for your own use because it was separated into self-seal bags and you had scales, you had a notebook and you had cash that indicated you were supplying to others."

The court heard Cooke had been selling to fund his own habit but since then has become a father and been working with the probation service as a result of a suspended sentence he was given for dangerous driving last summer.

David Comb, defending, said; "He has engaged well with the order the court imposed in August last year.

"He has accepted the opportunity with both hands and in the time since December 2016 his life has changed quite considerably, he has grown up quite considerably in that time."

Mr Comb said Cooke is the full-time child carer while his partner goes out to work and now stays away from trouble.

The court heard Cooke is no longer involved with taking or selling cannabis.