A HEREFORD drug dealer has received a suspended prison sentence despite being caught yet again with a cannabis stash.

Jonathan Taylor admitted possession of the drug with intent to supply when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court last week.

The 22-year-old of Oxford Street, Whitecross, was pulled over in his red Ford transit van on Edgar Street on December 10 last year.

Lal Amarsinghe, prosecuting, said: "The officer detected the smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle. He was the sole occupant."

Taylor admitted he had some cannabis and produced a small amount to police. Taylor also failed a roadside drugs test and was arrested.

Officers found inside the vehicle two cannabis grinders, some tupperware containers, some electronic scales and £275 in cash.

His mobile phone was also seized and a section 18 search of his home carried out where police found a quantity of 'dealer bags' which had been ripped up in such a manner as to cause police to believe they were being used to wrap drugs.

Officers went through the messages on Taylor's phone, some of which related to drug dealing.

Taylor has previous convictions for possession of cannabis with intent to supply in March 2013, possession of cannabis in July 2013, burglary (non-dwelling) in August 2013 and possession of cannabis in April 2014.

Lal Amarasinghe, prosecuting, argued that Taylor's role in dealing drugs was 'significant' and said the sentencing range available was between 26 weeks and three years in custody for a defendant with no previous relevant convictions. However, Mr Amarasinghe added: "This is a defendant who has pleaded guilty and has relevant convictions for the same matter relatively recently."

Mark Thompson, defending, described Taylor as 'a bright, articulate man' but acknowledged he had relevant previous convictions in 2013 and 2015.

Recorder Charles Foster decided not to impose an immediate custodial sentence despite acknowledging that Taylor had 'a woeful response to non-custodial alternatives'.

He added: : "You're acquiring a depressing record in your 22 years with a number of previous convictions going back to 2011."

Recorder Foster issued a 12 month jail sentence but suspended it for two years for possession with intent to supply. A further four week concurrent sentence, also suspended, was imposed for possession of cannabis.

An electronically monitored curfew order was also imposed. Taylor must be indoors at his home address in Oxford Street every day between 7pm and 6am for the next three months.

He must pay £500 towards prosecution costs and complete a 10 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Recorder Foster said: "You've been given a chance here. Don't blow it."