HAPLESS drug dealer Peter Hayward was pulled over by police for smoking a joint at the wheel of his work van, only for them to find 20 wraps of MDMA stashed in the van’s footwell.
The 29-year-old, who was working as a sweet seller at festivals at the time of the offence, appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court.
He pleaded guilty to possession of a class A drug with intent to supply and possession of a class B drug.
Hayward was caught after his erratic driving – swerving over the white lines on the road – caught the attention of police officers on the M27, near Portsmouth, at 1pm on October 14, 2014.
Prosecuting Tammy Mears said: ‘As he was pulled over it was clear he was trying to conceal something in the footwell of the vehicle.
‘It was searched and cannabis was found in a laptop bag.’
Police searched the van, which was owned by his employers, and found 18.99g of MDMA, estimated to be worth around £800, in 20 separate wraps hidden in a tobacco pouch.
They also found 5.4g of cannabis, two mobile phones and a scale.
Hayward’s fingerprints were found on the scales and on the inside of the bags of drugs.
Hayward said he had bought the drugs at a festival with the intention to sell them on to his friends at cost value, but he said he had checked each bag individually which was why his fingerprints were on the inside of the wrappings.
The court heard that Hayward was currently unemployed, was in debt and living at home with his parents, but that since the offence he had abstained from drugs.
Defending Mark Kessler said: ‘The defendant has had a pretty serious jolt with this case.’
Judge John Williams sentenced Hayward, of Kingslea Park, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, to 18 months in prison suspended for two years for possession with intent to supply for the MDMA.
Hayward was also ordered to do 200 hours’ community service. He must pay a £150 fine for the possession of the cannabis.
Judge Williams said to Hayward: ‘You were flirting with a very long term of imprisonment.
‘You have been very lucky, make sure you keep out of trouble and do not get involved with drugs.’