A DRUG dealer who was caught driving around with cannabis had his 10-year-old son in the car at the same time.

Burnley Crown Court heard that when police examined 30-year-old David Andrew Hartley’s mobile phone they found text messages where he was instructing his mum about who to sell drugs to.

Prosecuting, Stephen Parker said police stopped a Vauxhall Astra being driven by Hartley in Burnley Road Todmorden at 10.40pm on October 6, 2018.

When they went to speak to Hartley they noticed the child in the front passenger seat and a strong smell of cannabis.

Mr Parker said that when officers asked Hartley if he had any cannabis on him he said: “Yes. Quite a bit.”

Officers searched the car and found 12.4 grammes of cannabis skunk, which had a street value of £150, and two blocks of cannabis resin, weighting 10.5 grammes.

Hartley, of Dall Street, Burnley, failed a roadside drugs test.

Mr Parker said that an examination of Hartley’s phone revealed text messages associated with the street-level dealing of cannabis.

Mr Parker said: “He appeared to be working in cahoots with his mother or certainly arranging for people to pick cannabis up from his address.”

In one message Hartley said: “Colin has just rung asking if he could have 30 weed. He has rung three times already. I’m just getting home now.”

Hartley, who has 22 previous convictions for 48 offences, pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing cannabis with intent to supply. That was on the basis he supplied it to family and friends and predominantly to fund his own cannabis addiction.

Defending, David Farley said his client suffered a fractured skull in 2009 which gave him epilepsy. He said that because his client felt the medication he was prescribed wasn’t stopping his fits he used cannabis as an alternative medicine.

Mr Farley said despite his client’s medical issues the Department for Work and Pensions declared him fit for work, but Hartley was unable to carry on with paid jobs because of his epileptic fits.

Mr Farley said: “He regrets his stupidity and had learned a hard lesson. He’s full of remorse that he had to resort to dealing in order to carry on using cannabis.”

The court heard that Hartley is looking to enrol on a college course to become a tattoo artist.

Judge Richard Gioserano sentenced him to a 12-month community order with a requirement to attend a thinking skills programme, 15 rehabilitation days and a four-month curfew.

Source:  https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/18288427.cannabis-dealer-drove-around-10-year-old-son-car/