A 59-YEAR-old Penrith man has been given a suspended jail sentence after he admitted selling cannabis.

Malcolm Lamb, 59, was prosecuted after a police raid on his home in the town's Milton Street when officers discovered seven small snap bags of cannabis, scales, and hundreds of pounds in cash hidden inside a mirror.

He admitted a single count of having the drug with intent to supply it, but he insisted he sold it only to friends.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting at Carlisle Crown Court, said police raided Lamb's rented property as part of a separate investigation into an assault.

The cannabis-filled bags were found stuffed into a coffee cup in the kitchen, said the barrister.

"In the bedroom were found a debtors' list and inside the back of a small mirror which the police dismantled, there was found £500," said Mr Burke.

In total, found at the property was £860, as well as dealer bags and electronic scales.

Though he was initially reticent with police, Lamb did admit that he was dealing the class B drug to friends, mainly from his house.

He claimed that only a proportion of the cash police found came from drugs.

The court heard that the defendant already had convictions for 32 offences, dating back to 1977, and those included an offence of cannabis supply back in 1996.

In 2008, Lamb was jailed for supplying amphetamine, another class B drug.

Charlotte Kenny, defending, told Recorder John Corless: "This is low level operation."

She outlined how the defendant was a man with medical issues, including two hernias and heart problems.

"He admits to being a long-term user of cannabis and the acquisition of cannabis has been, he says, in the main for his own personal use," said the barrister.

Lamb continued to dispute that all the money found came from selling cannabis.

He had legitimately sold rolling tobacco.

Lamb would find it hard to survive in prison and maintain his health.

He would also lose his rented home if he was jailed, she said.

Recorder Corless accepted that the offence before him was not large scale dealing, and that Lamb had been selling to friends.

"Nevertheless," said the judge, "it's dealing at street level and your were the prime mover in the street operation."

He imposed a year's jail, but suspended the sentence for two years.

The judge also imposed a 7pm to 7am curfew, to be observed for the next four months; and 15 days of Probation Service rehabilitation activity.

All of the cash seized by police will be forfeited, along with the drugs and equipment found at Lamb's home.

The defendant must pay a £140 victim surcharge.