A DRUG dealer caught with hundreds of pounds worth of the ‘party drug’ mephedrone walked free from court with a suspended jail term.
Wiktor Balke, aged 30, was spotted dealing the Class B drug, also known as M-cat or meow-meow, by a police officer in a car park in Stairfoot, Barnsley.
Sheffield Crown Court heard police searched Balke’s car and found more than £80 of the drug stashed in the glove compartment.
Mephedrone worth more than £250 was then discovered hidden in the dealer’s bedsit.
But Judge Alan Goldsack QC said even though Balke’s crimes ‘passed the custody threshold’, he was able to pass a six-month suspended sentence as the Polish national had no previous convictions.
Beverley Tait, prosecuting, said Balke was seen by a police officer driving his Nissan Micra onto a car park off Doncaster Road, Stairfoot, where he met a man who had been ‘loitering’ outside a shoe shop.
She said: “As he watched, he saw the two people exchanging something.”
Ms Tait said the item turned out to be a £15 wrap of mephedrone, and the officer then found an £81 wrap in Balke’s Micra.
The dealer was arrested and a search of his bedsit uncovered £252 of M-cat hidden in the top drawer of his bedroom cabinet, as well as weighing scales and disposable bags.
Ms Tait told the court yesterday: “He was interviewed, and said he received a call from the person involved to sell drugs to him. He said he agreed to do so but didn’t want to.”
Balke told police the drugs in his bedroom were for his own personal use.
Ms Tait said: “He said he didn’t want to sell them but would be prepared to if other people wanted to.”
Balke admitted possession with intent to supply and supplying the class B drug.
Andrew Swabey, mitigating, said Balke used to work in a furniture factory, but was laid off and moved to Barnsley in 2009 to take up another job.
Mr Swabey said: “His relationship with his long-term partner broke down and he began using mephedrone.
“He is not using any drugs at all now and he’s thoroughly ashamed that he is before the courts.”
Judge Goldsack said: “Any dealing on the streets, however short and unsustained, passes the custody threshold.
“Whether this was an established pattern in your life, only you know.
“Because of your circumstances, on this occasion the sentence will be suspended.”
Balke, of Ravenna Close, Measbrough Dike, was sentenced to six months’ jail suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,200 costs.