Preston police find £18,000 of cannabis stashed in suitcases in man's attic in Cottam.

A scaffolder who hid drugs and a machete in the attic of his mum's home has had his eight month jail term suspended for 18 months.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 12:26 pm

Michael Gary McLaughlin, 24, of Finch Lane, Cottam, Preston, admitted possession with intent to supply a Class B drug during a hearing at Preston's Sessions House Court.

Holly Nelson, prosecuting, told the court on February 10, 2020, police officers attended his home to carry out a drugs warrant.

She said: " They forced entry and found a woman now understood to be his girlfriend present in the property.

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Sessions House

"This defendant was not initially present when they first entered but arrived shortly afterwards.

"He spoke with officers at the door and quickly provided them with information in respect of the drugs.

"He said: 'The drugs are up in the attic in a suitcase, I'm resp my girlfriend has nothing to do with it."

The cannabis was found in two suitcases alongside scales zip bags a baseball bat and also a machete.

The couple were arrested.

The court heard £14,672 worth of cannabis - 1.895kg - was found in the suitcases and is deemed by experts to have a potential retail value of £18,772 if sold in 2g deals.

The dad-to-be, who has one previous conviction for robbery as a youth, gave a no comment interview.

Miss Nelson argued he had played a significant role, adding: "The Crown would submit he has an operation or management function within the chain and has some awareness of the operation, given he was housing the amount that he was."

Defending, Sharon Watson said his cannabis addiction had caused him problems with work but he was now hoping to get an apprenticeship.

She pointed out he told officers where the drugs were and made it known his partner, who was entirely unaware of the drugs in their home was not responsible.

She added: "He understand he's got to rid himself of this addiction otherwise he won't he able to work in his chosen field, namely on building sites."

Imposing 80 hours unpaid work, a rehabilitation requirement and curfew, Judge Simon Newell told him he had a responsibility to his family.

He said: "It's disappointing that you, a man with effectively no previous convictions, who lives in the family home with your mother and younger brother and sister, decides you'll go ahead with putting cannabis in the flat.

"It not only gets you into an awful lot of trouble, it could have got them into an awful lot of trouble."

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