Cumbria Crack report an all too familiar story…
A South Cumbrian man who supplied cannabis to others in a bid to pay off a £3,500 debt has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
Callum McKenzie, 25, was stopped by police as he rode a moped in Burneside on March 16 last year and was described as being “evasive”. McKenzie admitted possessing cannabis, and some was found on him.
More of the class B drug was located at his home along with items which included a grinder, weighing scales and plastic packaging.
An iPhone was also seized and then analysed. Police recovered a photograph of McKenzie holding a large bag containing flowering heads of cannabis which, an expert concluded, was consistent with around a kilo in weight.
Damning messages also hinted at the supply of the illicit substance.
Although he initially made no comment when quizzed, McKenzie later admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply between May 2020 and last March.
This was on the basis that he was dealing the drug to raise the cash he needed to pay off a £3,500 debt, fearful of threats that had been made.
As McKenzie was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court today, his barrister said he was a hard-working man whose supply arose out of his “considerable” cannabis consumption. However, he no longer used the drug and was described as remorseful for his crime.
Judge Richard Archer noted the circumstances of McKenzie, of Hall Park, Burneside, had changed for the better since the offence came to light as he sought to lead a law-abiding life.
But the judge spoke of a “familiar tale” which had led to criminal conduct.
“Because,” said Judge Archer, “many, many people who find themselves using — and then addicted — to controlled drugs end up feeling that there is little alternative but to turn to dealing to discharge a debt.