A YOUNG drug dealer was given a second chance after he was caught with a large amount of cannabis.

Joshua Northcote, of Bodin Gardens, Newbury, admitted to possessing and supplying drugs following a search of his parent’s home.

Police found mobile phones, 119g of cannabis and £355 cash in his bedroom and he was arrested on February 2.

Steven Talbot-Hadley, prosecuting at Reading Crown Court on Friday, said: “Police attempted to stop and search him with difficulty after noticing the smell of cannabis and a plastic bag sticking out of his pocket.

“Telephones were analysed and contained messages consistent with drug supplying.

“We would argue he had a significant role in this operation due to the many text messages on the phones and he was dealing in a large quantity of cannabis.”

Northcote, 18, was charged in September and received a six-month sentence, suspended for one year.

Edward Culver, mitigating, added: “He has had these proceedings hanging over him for nearly a whole year and in that time he has matured vastly.

“Because of his age he will now be sentenced as an adult, although a 17-year-old would attract a lower sentence for these offences.”

A forefeiture order was made for the destruction of the cannabis and Northcote was made to pay costs of £420.

Deputy circuit judge Alistair McCreath said: “Dealing in drugs is very serious because they destroy lives and in pretty much every single case it means that the person ends up in custody.

“You were very young and from what I have heard, you have matured vastly in the last few months. You have work coming your way and your family speak highly of you.

“I am prepared to give you a chance and I really hope, as I am sure your family do, that these proceedings will have taught you a lesson.”