A DRUG dealer who brought a large bag of clothes to court ready for life in jail, saw his custodial sentence suspended.

There were gasps of relief in the public gallery when Prince Moyo was told, instead of jail, he would be punished with unpaid work by His Honour Judge Martin Jackson.

The 30-year-old said "thank you your honour" as he left the dock of court room one at the end of his sentencing hearing held at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday.

Earlier Timothy Sapwell, prosecuting, said Moyo had previously pleaded guilty to three counts; possession with intent to supply cocaine, possession with intent to supply cannabis and possession of LSD.

The prosecutor said police found five bags of cocaine (each worth £40), LSD tablets and £260 in cash on Moyo when he was at the Priors Croft nightclub in Malvern in January 2018, and was arrested.

Police went on to search his home and there they discovered a sixth bag of cocaine, drug paraphernalia including scales, as well as cannabis hidden in a bin liner and a mobile phone that linked Moyo to drug dealing.

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Mr Sapwell added he and Moyo's defence barrister, Judith Kenney, were in agreement on the sentencing guidelines which meant Moyo was facing an immediate custodial sentence.

Ms Kenney said she had given her client "realistic" advice about the sentence - but appealed for it to be suspended saying Moyo had been "in a bad place" when he committed the offence in early 2018.

Ms Kenney then said: "The irony is his mother is one of the heroes we have clapped each Thursday, working on the frontline for the NHS." After saying this, Judge Jackson interjected and said: "Can I give you an indication on where I stand? Two years prison, suspended, with a dose of unpaid work."

Ms Kenney replied there was nothing more she could add.

Judge Jackson said as the class A drug, the cocaine, found was a "relatively small amount", that the offence was "of an age" and there had been no offending since, that Moyo had no previous convictions, and taking into consideration the Covid-19 crisis in prisons, he was satisfied a jail sentence could be suspended.

He gave Moyo a two year jail sentence, suspended for two years, six months also suspended for two years (to run concurrently) and ordered 250 hours unpaid work to be carried out.

There was no separate penalty for the possession of the LSD.

Judge Jackson added if Moyo, of Bluebell Close, Malvern, failed to do the unpaid work or committed another offence during the suspension period, he could expect to come back to court and could see the sentence activated.

The judge ordered for the forfeiture of drugs, court costs and a victim surcharge to be paid.