A Cumbrian drug dealer claimed he smoked 40 joints a day after he and his pal were caught with cannabis worth almost £2,500.

But a Carlisle Crown Court judge said he simply did not believe that claim from 28-year-old Samuel Armstrong, telling the defendant and his co-accused Kyle Barrie: “You were selling this stuff for profit.”

Armstrong, of Crag View, Kendal, and Barrie, 25, of Briar Bank, Carlisle, both admitted possessing the Class B drug with intent to supply.

Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, described how the pair’s drug dealing operation came to light when police raided a property at Middle Lane in Kendal on May 14 last year. Inside the property they found ‘skunk’ cannabis with a street value of £2,417 and drugs paraphernalia.

They also found £1,310 in cash.

Mark Shepherd, for Barrie, said a prison sentence would have a harmful impact on the people he was close to and impact on his role as a carer. “There is a genuine prospect of rehabilitation,” said the lawyer.

“He has taken positive steps,” said Mr Shepherd, saying that the defendant – a man of previous good character – was involved in order to finance his own addiction. Rather than making money, he had suffered a ‘significant financial loss’, said Mr Shepherd.

Niamh Ingham, for Armstrong, said he had been a heavy drug user since he was 16 and simply attempting to fund his own drugs use.

Recently diagnosed with ADHD, he had been self-medicating and was smoking 40 cannabis joints per day. “He had also been made redundant at the time of the offending and was in a very difficult place,” said the barrister.

She added that the defendant’s background report showed that he had a real insight into his offending and had now ‘significantly reduced’ his cannabis consumption.

Passing sentence, Recorder Peter Atherton told the defendants: “You both played a significant role in this operation.

“Time and time again, we hear of drug dealers – because that is what you are – coming to this court, wringing their hands with all sorts of excuses and explanations which frankly don’t cut any ice as far as I’m concerned.

“You knew what you were doing; you knew the potential consequences of what you were doing.

“Nevertheless, I don’t accept for a moment that you were smoking 40 joints a day. You were selling this stuff for profit; that’s what you were about. If you had needed help, you could have gone to your doctor for your ADHD.

“There are so many people now suffering from ADHD, resorting to all sorts of drugs for medication. I don’t buy it, frankly. Guidelines are that drug dealers should go to prison; and anything less than a prison sentence almost ignores the seriousness of the offence.”

But having considered the mitigation, the judge said he hoped the ‘humbling experience’ of being put before the court had shown the defendants that their offences were no joke. He thus suspended the six-month jail term he imposed on each defendant for two years. The judge added that such offending was part of a ‘toxic culture’ that fuels crime as users try to fund their habit.

Recorder Atherton ordered that each defendant do 150 hours of unpaid work.