A Belfast man who turned to drug dealing to buy Christmas presents for his children has been handed an 18-month jail term. However Belfast Crown Court Judge Gordon Kerr QC told 25-year-old Lee Houston he was suspending the sentence for two years because of his clear record and guilty pleas.
The court heard that as police stood at the front door of his Ardoyne Road home on November 13 last year, officers spotted “an arm” reach out and place a container on a window ledge.
A search of the property revealed 120 grams of cannabis resin in the container as well as small amounts of cannabis in a bedroom cabinet and a notebook of names and numbers.
When interviewed, Houston initially claimed the notebook was linked with a card game but later said it contained details of people who owed him money.
He pleaded guilty to possessing the class B cannabis with intent to supply.
A defence lawyer told the court that Houston had frankly admitted to police that he had bought a “nine bar” of cannabis, hoping to make about £300 profit from selling it, and that he was intending to use the cash for children’s Christmas presents.