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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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Penrith man became involved with drugs after discharge from army

A man who became involved in drugs after being medically discharged from the Army has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Nicholas Lancaster, 21, was caught by police with cocaine that had a street value of more than £450 after a raid at his former home in Penrith, a court heard.

Lancaster, now of Sunny Bank, Stainton, near Penrith, admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and possessing a class B drug. He appeared before Carlisle Crown Court to be sentenced yesterday. He was given a one-year jail term, suspended for two years.

Alan Lovett, prosecuting, said police had carried out a raid on February 2 at Lancaster’s then home in Benson Row, Penrith.

Lancaster, the court was told, had “white residue around his nostrils”. Bags of cocaine and a small bag of cannabis were found. Text messages found on Lancaster’s phone suggested “involvement in supply”.

Keith Thomas, in mitigation, said Lancaster had always “set his heart on a career in the Army” but a leg injury had wrecked this.

“He became involved in drugs,” said Mr Thomas, who added that Lancaster was now working as a volunteer for charity.

Judge Peter Hughes QC said Lancaster’s drugs activity was “for a relatively short period”.

He was also sentenced to 12 months’ supervision, six months of drug rehabilitation and to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work for the community. He was put under an 8pm until 6am curfew for 20 weeks.

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