A PENRITH dad is potentially facing years in prison after he was twice caught with drugs and weapons.

At Carlisle's Rickergate Magistrates' Court, a lawyer outlined how on one occasion James Alexander Aitken, 28, was in a car with two other men and a 16-year-old girl and under questioning he denied having exchanged drugs for sex with teenage girls.

But the defendant, of Pallet Hill, Penrith, admitted six offences.

They were:

Possessing a knuckle-duster in Appleby;

Being concerned in the supply of the class B drug MCAT;

Possessing a butterfly knife on the A66 at Brough;

Possessing a hunting knife on the same occasion;

Being concerned in the supply of MCat;

And being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

The first two offences happened on October 3 last year; and the remaining six offences on September 7.

Andy Travers, prosecuting, said Aitken was first arrested on October 3 last year when police spotted him in an Audi car outside Appleby Grammar School.

Officers saw a 17-year-old boy getting into the car.

Police suspected the teenager and the car's occupants had been involved in a drug deal, said Mr Travers.

When the vehicle was searched later, officers found a loaded air rifle in the car's front passenger well, a knuckle-duster, digital scales, and a mobile phone belonging to the defendant.

It contained evidence of drug dealing, said Mr Travers.

"There were photos showing a quantity of cannabis and MCAT," said Mr Travers.

There were also text messages suggesting the supply of illicit drugs.

The second set of offences, said Mr Travers, came to light when police stopped an Audi being driven by the defendant on the westbound A66 at Brough.

Hidden inside it they found a pack of white powder and a knife with a four inch blade as well as the butterfly knife.

The drug that was found - identified laster as MCAT - had a potential street value of £2,500.

The defendant - the father of a young boy - told police he had been to Leeds to buy the drug with three other people - one of them a 16-year-old girl.

Mr Travers said: "Asked about his relationship with females aged 16 and 17, he said he never gave females drugs to have sex, but he did give drugs to them."

Magistrates remanded Aitken in custody and sent his case to Carlisle Crown Court for a hearing on October 11.

The prosecutor said the defendant is facing a likely jail term, but defence lawyer Sean Harkin suggested it may be suspended.