An absent minded drug dealer was caught because he left a rucksack containing his stash in the street on two different occasions.

Connor Nance forgot to take his bag home after getting drunk in a park in Barnstaple in November last year and dropped it outside a hotel after being scared off by a group of homeless people a month later.

The first rucksack was found by an early morning dog walker in Rock Park with £300 worth of cannabis in it and the second was found by a security man at the Royal Fortescue Hotel.

That contained a bag of ecstasy like tablets worth £220. Both rucksacks contained course work from Petrock’s College, where Nance was a student, or other documents that identified him.

Police found more cannabis and pills at his home and identified them as 2CB, a mixture of MDMA and amphetamines.

Nance had taken one of the pills himself and been so shocked by its effect that he decided not to sell the rest.

He was aware of the danger of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, because he had been at the Vivid club in Ilfracombe when a 16-year-old collapsed and died in May last year.

Nance, aged 18, of Elm Lea Avenue admitted possession of class A and B drugs with intent and was jailed for 18 months, suspended for 18 months with 150 hours unpaid community work by Recorder Marcus Pilgerstorfer at Exeter Crown Court.

Mr Pilgerstorfer told him he was able to suspend the sentence because Nance had only supplied friends with cannabis and had changed his mind about selling the 2CB.

Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said a dog walker found Nance’s rucksack in Rock Park on November 21, 2017 and police were called after a work colleague smelled cannabis.

Nance was due to attend an interview on December 17 but was arrested after a security man found the second abandoned bag, which contained the 2CB tablets.

Richard Crabb, defending, said Nance has turned his life around since his arrest, giving up drugs, completing his college course and finding work with a building company.

He said he had moved out of home at the time he committed the offences and was living a chaotic lifestyle which led to him losing the two bags.