Barnstaple dealer says £3,100 stash in loft was poor quality

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A social media cannabis dealer who was found with £3,100 of home grown drugs in his loft has been warned that he will go to prison if he does it again. 

Callum Saunders took orders through Facebook and Instagram but advised customers to move onto Snapchat, where messages after permanently deleted after viewing. 

He sold cannabis to friends in North Devon and was caught with 310 grams of drying cannabis in his loft when his family home was raided by police. 

Saunders has a previous caution for growing cannabis and a judge at Exeter Crown Court told him he will receive a jail sentence if he is caught drug dealing again. 

The drugs found drying in the attic were said to be of poor quality and he disputed the police expert’s estimate that they could be sold for £10 a gram. He claimed it had been grown outside and was of poor quality. 

Saunders, aged 20, of Swallow Field, Barnstaple, admitted possession with intent to supply and was ordered to do ten days of rehabilitation activities and undergo a six month alcohol treatment programme by Judge David Evans. 

He told him: “Your previous police caution should have been a shot across your bows but you seem to have ignored it. Next time you will go inside. I am sure you realise now what a stupid course of action you took. 

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“I am sure you understand that using cannabis in the hope it will help with your mental health is very dangerous because it can bring its own mental health issues with it.” 

Mr Brian Fitzherbert, prosecuting, said police searched Saunders’ home address on November 20 last year and seized 310 grams of flowering head cannabis from the attic. 

He said: “It was drying in the loft and estimated to have a potential street value of £3,100. Scales and a grinder were recovered from Saunders’ bedroom. 

“There were messages on his phone on SMS, Instagram and Facebook with requests for supply from a variety of people linked to him. He replied no to some or said not at the moment. 

“He said he could supply others and asked them to connect through Snapchat, which is a medium where messages cannot be recovered. It would appear that may be why he chose it.” 

Mr Richard Crabb, defending, said the cannabis in the loft had been grown out of doors and was of poor quality, meaning it was not worth the figure suggested by the police. 

He said Saunders has issues of anxiety and depression linked to a growing up in a household where there was domestic violence and had started using cannabis after being bullied at a special school. 

A probation report concluded that he had replaced his reliance on cannabis with abuse of alcohol and needs help to reduce consumption of up to 17 cans per night. 

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