Max Dixon, 19, of Leeds Road, Otley was before a judge at Leeds Crown Court today for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to two counts of possession of a class A drug with intent to supply, one count of possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply and one count of possession of cannabis.
The court heard that on August 3 last year, a co-worker at the store at Bondgate in Otley turned up to work smelling of cannabis and his locker was searched by staff but nothing was found. Dixon's locker was also searched as the two were known to be associates. Staff discovered what was later confirmed to be five separate packets of cocaine, eight sealed bags of ketamine and five packages of MDMA in a jacket pocket and police were called.
The cannabis was found during a later search of his home address. Dixon told police during interview that he was looking after the drugs for a friend in return for £150 but later admitted they were being supplied by him.
Stephen Smithson, defending Dixon of Leeds Road, Otley, said: "The reality is he purchased them with his own money as he and his friends wished. They would then be shared with them for very low profit. I don't want to start splitting hairs between street dealing and friends but there is a difference. His phone was seized and there is no evidence of other dealings or quantities of cash to indicate that."
The court also heard Dixon was sacked from Sainsbury's but has since got another job where he is a team leader and has abstained from drug use altogether.
Delivering his verdict, Recorder Andrew Haslam QC said: "The courts take the trafficking of these types of drugs very seriously. Those who peddle drugs, peddle misery to addicts who are hooked and that addict is a blight on our community and our society.
"But I agree with the submissions made that it is a distinction between someone peddling to the street and to a small circle of friends. This was, I am prepared to accept on this occasion, an isolated incident".
Dixon was given a 20 month prison term that was suspended for two years and he was also given 250 hours of unpaid work.
Mr Haslam QC added: "You have come very, very close to being sent down."