A TILER got involved in the wholesale cannabis trade in order to raise money for tools, a Swindon court heard.

Rico Witter was spotted by police meeting drugs mule Brandon Wilson near Malwayn Close, Trowbridge, on July 25 last year. When Wilson got out of 24-year-old Witter’s Ford he was seen carrying a white plastic bag.

A short while later, police stopped the Audi in which Wilson was a front seat passenger. In the white bag was a vacuum-packed sack containing half a kilo of herbal cannabis with a wholesale value of at least £1,500 and worth an estimated £5,000 on the street.

It was suspected Wilson was on his way to deliver the drugs to Keynsham. Messages found on Witter’s phone showed he and another, who has not been identified, grew increasingly concerned as they suspected Wilson had been arrested.

Witter, of Malwayn Close, Trowbridge, pleaded guilty last month at Swindon Crown Court to being concerned in the supply of cannabis. Wilson was sentenced last year to three years-and-a-half years to a number of offences, including possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

Delivering a pre-sentence report, probation officer Claire Hyde said talented tiler Witter had turned to selling cannabis as he wanted to raise funds to buy the tools of his trade. After being given a two year jail sentence in 2017 for conspiracy to supply class A drugs, he had found it hard to get work.

Witter was extremely remorseful for his actions. Since being arrested he had turned his life around and now had full time work.

Peter Binder, defending, said there was a genuine prospect his client could be rehabilitated and asked for any prison sentence to be suspended.

Sentencing Witter to four months’ imprisonment suspended for a year, Judge Peter Crabtree said: “Anyone who is involved in the supply of class A or B drugs is involved in criminality that wrecks lives and undermines the fabric of society.

“There are many people who are involved in cannabis and take cannabis and subsequently are involved in criminality. That is why it undermines the fabric of society.”

Witter must complete 150 hours of unpaid work and 30 rehabilitation activity days.