A CANNABIS dealer was spared from going to jail after a judge was told his mother had died suddenly last autumn, and he is turning his life around.

Lewis Marshall, aged 24, of Aberthaw Road, Newport, was handed a suspended prison sentence at the city’s crown court.

Prosecutor Harry Baker said police raided the defendant’s home last May where they found more than £3,000 worth of cannabis. Marshall told officers the drugs were for his own personal use.

Police also discovered air rifles, a crossbow and a knuckleduster, Judge Daniel Williams was told.

Marshall pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply in May last year.

Mr Baker said Marshall was sentenced to a referral order in 2013 for possessing cannabis with intent to supply, and two years later, he received a community order and unpaid work for producing the drug.


Defence counsel Emma Harris said: “The defendant entered a guilty plea at the very first opportunity and is still a relatively young man.

“Last October, his mother died very suddenly. This and the birth of his young daughter has made him reassess his life and look to turn it around.”

“He has weaned himself off cannabis. He has gone from a £40 a week habit to giving it up.

"The defendant still has a lot of growing up to do.

“He has a full-time job as a plastering assistant and he is described as ‘pleasant, honest and respectful’ by his employer.”

Marshall also helps take care of his younger brother while his father works.

Judge Williams said that because of the personal mitigation in this case, he could suspend the inevitable prison sentence, despite Marshall being caught with a “substantial amount of cannabis”.

The defendant was jailed for 10 months, suspended for 18 months.

He must also carry out 180 hours of unpaid work in the community and pay a £140 victim surcharge.

As he left the dock, Marshall said to the judge: “Thank you, your honour.”

The defendant is set to face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing on April 24.