A drug dealer from Northamptonshire who hid drugs under his daughter’s bed has been given a nine-month suspended prison sentence, a court has heard.
Suraj Mal, of St Johns Road in Kettering, was sentenced when he appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Friday January 29 after admitting possessing drugs with intent to supply.
The court heard that in April 2014 plain clothes police officers in an unmarked car saw Mal, 42, in a vehicle and could smell cannabis. The followed the car and stopped it a short while later.
Officers found a bag of cannabis in the car and £885 on Mal.
They ordered a search of his home, where in his daughter’s bedroom herbal cannabis worth £1,320 was discovered under one of the beds. Also in one of the pillows was £3,480, and a further £800 was in a carrier bag in the bed.
Police examined Mal’s phone and found messages relating to the supply of drugs.
The court was told Mal had a drug addiction and mental health problems. His defence barrister told the court Mal was now trying to end his use of drugs after becoming aware of its impact on his mental health.
Passing sentence Judge Rupert Mayo said: “You have a certain condition that is not your fault, it is an organic illness called schizophrenia.
“Because cannabis makes that condition worse, your thought processes are influenced more than if you were not taking it.
“If you can understand that you may be able to lead a better life.”
Mal was given a jail term of nine months, suspended for 18 months. Judge Mayo also gave Mal a supervision order with him to undertake a thinking skills programme and low level drug rehabilitation. The judge also said Mal would be returned to court in several months time for a judge to hear about the progress he was making.