A drug dealer who fell asleep on the job and trapped angry motorists inside a car park has been given one last chance to turn his life around or go to jail.
Police found petty dealer Ryan Finlay Robert King in a drugged sleep in his car when he was supposed to have been on duty as a city centre car park attendant, Belfast Crown Court heard.
Irate motorists who couldn't get their cars out of McCausland's lock-up car park on Belfast's Grosvenor Road on November 14, 2010 alerted the PSNI, prosecution lawyer John O'Neill told the court.
Searching the car park they found King asleep in his Vauxhall Astra in the staff car park. When they tapped on the window to rouse him, a dazed and confused King was seen trying to conceal a bag in the footwell of the car.
Mr O'Neill said that on searching the car police found nearly 50g of cannabis in a number of plastic bags, along with some LSD in his wallet.
A quantity of pentalone, similar to ecstasy, was also uncovered during an intimate search of King.
King (26), from Meadowland in Downpatrick, Co Down, pleaded guilty to having and possessing cannabis with intent to supply.
He was given two years probation after agreeing to do 80 hours community service.
Judge Gordon Kerr QC told King the easiest thing to do would be to jail him, but he decided to give him one last chance to change or he would inevitably end up in prison.
King, who also admitted having these drugs, along with a pepper spray found in a door side panel, could not be interviewed until the following day given his drugged condition.
However, when questioned, King told detectives some of the cannabis was his own to see him through the week, while the rest he was holding for others, and that he did not know the pepper spray was a prohibited weapon.
Defence lawyer Mark Farrell said what police stumbled upon was no major sting or drugs bust. King, he said, was no ‘Mr Big’, but someone down at the bottom of the scale where dealing was involved.
Mr Farrell said King was a young man who was supplying drugs to a small circle of friends.
His job, he said, was to buy the drugs wholesale to make it cheaper for everyone, but that he was now having to pay the price after being caught.
He added that King, having taken some drugs on the job and fallen asleep in his car, was then sacked on the spot.
But Mr Farrell said King was not considered a danger to the public, nor had he a record for being highly involved in the drug trade.