A 20-year-old man has been put on probation after he was caught with £290 worth of cannabis.

Neil Clarke was already subject to a two-year suspended sentence supervision order, imposed in July 2022, but magistrates took no action in relation to that.

Prosecuting advocate Hazel Carroon told the court that police went to Clarke’s address, at Bucks Road in Douglas, on February 25, initially on an unrelated matter.

They were unable to get an answer when they knocked on his door, so opened it and shouted to him.

Clarke then presented himself and the officers reported a strong smell of cannabis.

A search of the property found a black plastic bag containing 14.5 grams of the drug, valued by police at £290.

The defendant was arrested and taken to police headquarters, where during an interview he admitted the drug was his, saying it was for personal use only.

Clarke said that he bought it in bulk as it was cheaper to do so.

He said that his cannabis consumption had been getting worse, but he was seeking help from Motiv8.

The court heard that Clarke was given a two-year suspended sentence in September 2021 for drug possession and resisting arrest.

That suspended sentence was then restarted in July 2022 after he appeared in court admitting threatening behaviour.

A probation report said that Clarke was currently working in construction and had been working well with his probation officer.

The report said that his appointments had been down to once a month, as he had been nearing the end of his suspended sentence but would now likely become more regular again.

Clarke told probation that he was a recreational user of cannabis but was dependent on it daily and wanted to stop using it.

He said that he had previously worked with Motiv8 and intended to again.

The report said that Clarke had been sofa surfing until recently and mixing with a negative peer group but was now going to move in with his mother.

Defence advocate Stephen Wood asked for credit to be given for his client’s guilty plea.

Mr Wood referred to the probation report, which he said had described Clarke as a ‘bright young man’, but added that he felt there were undertones of vulnerability and that he would benefit from receiving guidance.

The advocate said that Clarke had spent significant periods offence-free and that stability in his living arrangements would also assist him.

Magistrates sentenced the defendant to an 18 month probation order and also ordered him to pay £125 prosecution costs, at a rate of £40 per week. The suspended sentence will also continued to run until July 2024.