A small-time drug dealer has been jailed after he overslept and missed appointments with his probation officer.

Alex Parker was on a suspended sentence for selling ecstasy tablets to his friends but did not manage to get up in time to see his supervising officer.

He called in at 1.00pm on the day of one morning appointment in June to tell the probation service he had only just woken up.

Parker also confided to his probation officer that he had gone back to sharing illegal drugs with his friends. He had also been in trouble with the police.

He received a one year jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, at Exeter Crown Court in February 2019 after he admitted selling the class A drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy.

He was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid community work, take part in a drug rehabilitation programme and be supervised by the probation service.

He completed the unpaid work satisfactorily and worked well with the drug service Together and probation at first, but went off the rails in the past three months.

Parker, aged 20, of Manor Mill Road, Braunton, admitted failing to comply with a suspended sentence order and was jailed for eight months by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

He said he was reducing the original sentence by four months to acknowledge the work that Parker did complete under the order.

He told him it was clear that the order was no longer workable and the probation service no longer wanted to continue with it.

Thomas Faulkner, prosecuting, said Parker missed two appointments in June, calling on one occasion to say he had overslept.

His supervising officer was also concerned that he had told him he was sharing drugs with friends and he has been picked up by the police for various reasons in recent weeks.

Richard Crabb, defending, said the offence itself dated back to 2018 and Parker had never been in trouble before.

He was recommended for a drug rehabilitation order with a glowing report from Together and everything had been going well until a few weeks ago.

Mr Crabb said: “He started well, but sadly has fallen by the wayside quite late in the order. He says he has been badly affected by the death of a close friend, who died at the age of just 18.”