Norwich drug dealer escapes jail sentence

A Norwich drug dealer who bought and sold cannabis for dozens of friends over a 13-month period has escaped an immediate jail sentence.

Douglas Holbeck, 30, from Aylsham Road, appeared for sentencing at Norwich Crown Court yesterday.

He had earlier admitted supplying about 21 people with drugs from December 2009 until his arrest earlier this year.

Prosecuting, Nick Methold said a close circle of friends and associates of Holbeck's had been getting cannabis from him on a regular basis.

He said: 'Police carried out a search warrant at Holbeck's home in Aylsham Road and found �800 worth of drugs.

'Holbeck said in interview that the cannabis resin that was found was for his own use while the 190.55g of herbal cannabis was for supply.'

For Holbeck, Phillip Farr said his client was currently unemployed but was hopeful of getting work as a gardener and had attended an interview for a job last week.

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Sentencing him, Judge Peter Jacobs told Holbeck he was not giving him an immediate jail sentence as he had no previous convictions. But he added: 'You could not complain if I sent you inside for 10 months now, but I am giving you a last chance.'

Holbeck was handed a jail sentence for 10 months, which has been suspended for one year and he was ordered to take part in 240 hours' unpaid work.

No financial penalty was ordered by the court, but Judge Jacobs warned Holbeck that if he failed to complete the unpaid work he would be sent to jail immediately.