A MAN was found with a gas-powered gun, cannabis and £9,000 cash in bags after he was spotted getting into a car by police.

Jamie Cunningham was seen getting into a Vauxhall Astra after leaving a house belonging to a 'Mr Holden' in Blackburn that drugs officers were keeping a close eye on.

Charles Brown, prosecuting, said the defendant left the house last May moments later carrying two yellow bags, before getting into the Astra and leaving.

Mr Brown said: "The police stopped the Astra and found two bags which had a quantity of herbal cannabis, a jug labelled 'star burst', a form of cannabis oil, and a gas-powered handgun.

Describing the weapon, Mr Brown said: "It is a Blackwater handgun powered by carbon dioxide.

"It fires plastic bullets, it is an imitation weapon, it's so realistic.

"Cash was also found – £9,030."

The court heard just over half a kilo of herbal cannabis was recovered.

Mr Brown said when interviewed by police, the defendant gave no comment to questions.

Isobel Thomas, defending, said her client had a lesser role in the overall operation.

She said: "The crown accepts Mr Cunningham was not dealing directly to users.

"The crown accepts Mr Cunningham took possession of the drugs by the owner.

"He accepts he knew what was in the bag.

"This can be described as out of character as he has no previous convictions."

She said her client had mental health problems and described himself as an 'emotional wreck'.

She said: "The main thing that keeps him going is his four-year-old daughter, she lives in Ireland, she spends time with him in the holidays.

"He does not go out much or see many people, he lives fairly isolated existence."

Cunningham, of Hancock Street, Blackburn, had pleaded guilty to possessing herbal cannabis, cannabis oil and the gun.

He was given a five-month prison sentence suspended for a year, and ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation hours.

A one-month curfew was also put in place.

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Recorder Killeen said: "You took the bag away for him (Mr Holden), intending to make sure any police did not get it.

"There was no evidence of drug texting on your phone, no evidence to say you were dealing.

"I have taken the view that there is significant mitigation and a serious prospect of rehabilitation."