A TEENAGER kidnapped by drug dealers and held at gunpoint has been spared jail for peddling cannabis a few months earlier.

Jakub Szczepaniak and a friend from school were selling close to a children’s play park in the summer of 2017 when they were spotted by patrolling PCSOs.

As well as having a customer in the back of their car a number of youths approached the vehicle and their phones kept ringing while officers were waiting for back-up.

But after hearing the 19-year-old had been ‘criminally exploited’ in the past and he and accomplice Valentino Sibilla, 22, had no previous convictions and were remorseful a judge imposed community order.

Elizabeth Cobb, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the officers in an unmarked car were on Quarry Road in Old Town shortly after 10pm on Friday July 14, 2017.

As they passed a Ford Fiesta containing three lads they noted a strong smell of cannabis, so stopped to speak to them.

The PCSOs needed to wait for police officers to carry out a search and during that period they noticed people approaching the car as well as calls to their mobiles.

After colleagues arrived they found more than 100g of cannabis in 33 packages in the passenger footwell which has a street value of almost £1,000.

Szczepaniak was found with £650 in screwed up bank notes in his pocket, Sibilla had £675 in his back pocket and another £1,700 was in the car.

The men also had mobile phones on them which contained a number of messages relating to the supply of drugs.

Szczepaniak, of Malmesbury, and Sibilla, of Morrison Street, each admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

Giving an oral report on the teenager probation officer Michelle James said that it appeared he had been ‘criminally exploited’ by drug dealers.

She said he had done well at school, where he befriended his accomplice who was a couple of years above, but gravitated towards the wrong crowd.

A few months after his arrest he was abducted and held by dealers from Reading who last year were jailed for what they had done to him.

Miss James said that he recognises what he did was wrong and was now living with his family and looking to get into work.

James Hay, defending Szczepaniak, who was 17 at the time, said: “He is a gentleman who is deeply sorry for his behaviour nearly two years ago, now.”

Adam Williams, for Sibilla, said his client had seen a quick fix to pay off his debts which will have lasting damage as he now has a criminal record.

He said he is now in full-time work in a local restaurant having worked his way up to have some managerial duties.

Judge Peter Crabtree OBE imposed one-year community orders with 100 hours of unpaid work for Szczepaniak and 200 hours for the older Sibilla along with 10 days rehabilitation activity requirement for each.

He said “If you don’t do what you are told by probation and comply with these requirement you will be sent back to me and I will take the view neither of you wants to be rehabilitated.”