A MAN who was caught with 140 wraps of crack cocaine has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Kevin Michael Arnold, 45, had been given the class As by a drug dealer he owed money to.

He was told to drop the drugs off at a location in Poole for another person to pick up.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard that police were called to Ashley Road, Parkstone, over reports of suspected cuckooing on May 10 last year.

A police constable saw Arnold and another man walking along the street and when the men saw the officer they turned and tried to make off in the other direction.

Arnold, of no fixed abode, was found with a large quantity of crack cocaine which had a street value of £1,400.

The defendant was also found with a burner phone and his own personal phone.

The court heard Arnold owed £400 to a known drug dealer, who said if he dropped the drugs off he would write-off part of this debt.

Arnold pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing crack cocaine with intent to supply.

Mitigating, Robert Grey said his client had worked as a glass fabricator for 23 years before he became addicted to drugs. The barrister said he had not been given a sentence for any of his handful of previous convictions that could help him with his drug problem.

The defendant pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity at the magistrates’ court, Mr Grey said.

In sentencing Arnold to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a rehabilitation activity requirement, Recorder Richard Onslow told the defendant that the court takes offences involving class A drugs “very seriously”.

He said drugs are “evil” things that “bring people down”. The judge concluded that the drugs and burner phone were due to be taken by the person who was working the drug line that afternoon.

Arnold was warned by Recorder Onslow that if he committed an offence in the next year, a judge could jail him for 18 months before even taking the new crime into account.