Cumbria

Police save drug dealer with character reference

A Carlisle drug dealer has avoided prison after a character reference from the police officers who arrested him.

Stephen Dowthwaite, 31, was due to be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court after being caught with nearly £5,000 of cannabis, an illegal class B drug.

Police contacted the Crown Prosecution Service to say he had "turned his life around" since his arrest.

Judge Paul Batty QC said Dowthwaite was spared jail thanks to the "exceptional" intervention by the arresting officers.

The police said since his arrest, Dowthwaite "had turned his life around, given up drugs and was making huge efforts to keep out of trouble".

He was given a suspended 12-month prison sentence for two years and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid community work.

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