A KESWICK man has been prosecuted for giving a lift to a friend who was collecting drugs from a person in Manchester.

Shaun Hetherington, 39, was arrested after his associate was arrested over the discovery of 1.5kg of cannabis which had an approximate street value of £14,000, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

The defendant admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

The court heard that the second man who was involved in the trip that the defendant made to Manchester on June 2 last year has already been sentenced.

The second man admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply. He was given a suspended jail sentence.

Referring to Hetherington, prosecutor Gerard Rogerson said: “He accepted that he was the delivery driver.” The defendant knew drugs were being collected during the trip but he did not know anything over and above that.

A probation officer who interviewed the defendant said that Hetherington clearly regretted his actions.

“He has been a heavy cannabis user but over the last four weeks he hasn’t smoked any,” said the officer, adding that the defendant had been referred to the community mental health team.

Judge Nicholas Barker told the defendant, whose address was given as Derwent Close, Keswick: “You got roped into driving [his friend] on June 2 down to Manchester and you knew he was doing that to buy drugs. If you had been, your sentence would have been a deal more serious.”

The judge noted Hetherington had no previous history of drug supply related offending but that he seemed to have a problem with cannabis.

“You also have a problem with good judgement,” said the judge. He imposed an 18-month community order which will include 10 rehabilitation activity days and 140 hours of unpaid work.

The judge refused to allow the defendant to keep the phone he had with him when offending.

This was despite a plea from the defence on the basis that Hetherington’s father had bought the phone legally on a contract basis.

“It’s your problem,” said the judge, ruling that the phone had been used as part of the defendant’s offending  behaviour in June last year and so it must therefore be forfeited.