A former drug addict who went on the run overseas narrowly escaped jail after a court heard he had turned his life around.
Scott Mann absconded to Spain in 2009 over serious drugs matters at the age of 17 but was only charged earlier this year on his return to the UK.
The 23-year-old, of Cedric Road, Edenthorpe, was using cannabis and cocaine and in debt to drug dealers, said Carl Fitch, prosecuting, at Sheffield Crown Court.
He was under pressure to repay dealers who asked him to supply cocaine and the cash he received for the deal would wipe the slate clean. But he was stopped by police and at his home they found cocaine and cannabis worth more than £1,500.
Mann admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and possessing cannabis in August, 2009.
Tim Savage, defending, said he had stayed out of trouble since the latest offences were committed more than five years ago. He added: “He has stayed away from drugs and those who use them and deal in them. At the age of 17 he had been using cannabis and cocaine and had accrued a debt. He was used by others who were more sophisticated criminals than he was.”
He had lived with his parents in Spain for four years but when he lost his job returned home and got a job in construction.
Judge Michael Murphy said he was dealing with a ‘different man’ to the young tearaway who was ‘seriously off the rails’.
Mann was given an 18-month jail term suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work.