Student turned to drug dealing to supplement income

Bob Higgins at an earlier court hearing  Picture Habibur Rahman/Solent News

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A STUDENT turned to drug dealing to supplement his loan, a court heard.

When police raided Oluwa-biyi Ayanwale’s home they found £1,850 worth of cannabis hidden in his fridge and £1,300 in cash in a shoe box.

Officers also uncovered £200 worth of cocaine as well as a host of weapons including a BB gun, a Samurai sword, a mace and two crowbars.

And there were text messages on the 21-year-old’s phone asking him for drugs.

Ayanwale – who struggled to get by on his student loan – was arrested by police in January 2009.

But the case took two years to come to crown court because of a delay in getting the drugs tested.

Mary Lawrenson, defending, said he had since left the University of Portsmouth and is now studying housing at London South Bank University.

She said he has turned his life around.

‘He stopped any involvement with drugs and he is now completely drug-free,’ she told the court.

‘He has distanced himself from his former associates.’

‘He has returned to his family home and his family are supporting him.

‘He knows himself that he has been very foolish and behaved in a very wrong way.

‘He is thoroughly ashamed of what he has done and has completely turned his life around.

‘He made a mistake for which he is now very, very sorry and he recognises how foolish he was.’

Ayanwale, of College Park Close, Lewisham, in South London, pleaded guilty to possessing a class B drug with intent to supply and possession of a class A drug when he appeared before Portsmouth Crown Court.

Judge Graham White said: ‘Dealing in cannabis for commercial gain is very serious.

‘It’s not as though you were doing it to fund a habit, you were doing it to make money because you were considerably short of funds while you were at university.

‘That’s not an excuse at all.’

But the judge said the two years it had taken for the case to come to crown court had given Ayanwale time to change his ways.

‘You have changed things considerably,’ Judge White said.

‘My own view is that you are not likely to offend again.’

Ayanwale was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

The judge also ordered that the £1,300 drug money found at his home be seized.