A man who was caught with £1,000 worth of cannabis, which he told police was for personal use only, has been spared time behind bars.

On Wednesday, Asraful Alam, 24, appeared before Judge Richard Gioserano after he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply cannabis and cannabis resin, for charges that date back to July 2018.

Prosecuting, Beth Pilling said that originally, the defendant had pleaded guilty to two counts of possession only, but later changed his plea to possession with intent to supply.

She told Preston Crown Court: "On July 12 2018, officers followed a vehicle in Burnley of which the defendant was the driver.

"They stopped him and while speaking with him noticed a strong smell of cannabis in the car.

"Upon conducting a search of the vehicle, they found 76g of cannabis in three separate bags.

"He told officers the cannabis was for personal use and not for supply and he'd paid £350 for it.

"When police stopped him however, his mobile phone was ringing and this was subsequently seized.

"The estimated value of the drugs when sold at street level was between £900 and £1,000.

"He later changed his plea to possession with intent to supply."

The first hearing for these offences took place in November 2019, due to Alam being convicted for 12 weeks at Blackburn Magistrates in November 2018 for two counts of possessing offensive weapons, possessing cannabis and driving without insurance.

After pleading guilty in November, Judge Gioserano deferred his sentence, giving him a chance to prove himself by abiding by an imposed community order to carry out a number of hours of unpaid work.

The court heard how Alam, who has six convictions for 11 offences, completed just one hour of unpaid work between January and when lockdown was imposed.

Judge Gioserano said: "He clearly had awareness of the scale of his operation and was motivated by financial gain

"He thinks that his four days work a week between 4pm and 11pm is about as much as he can handle, which is why he only completed one hour of unpaid work.

"I am going to impose a two year community order in the hope it will result in him pulling his finger out; if he doesn't I will send him to prison.

"This time he will need to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

"I want him to understand that I am keeping my promise of sending him to prison if he does not comply with this order."

Alam, of Cleaver Street, Burnley received a two year community order, and was told to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and 30 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.