A DRUG dealer has been spared jail after a judge was told he is about to go into the Army.

Joshua Taylor, of Minster Road, Brize Norton, near Carterton, admitted possessing cannabis, a Class B drug, with intent to supply, and possessing cocaine.

Gavin Holme, prosecuting, said the 22-year-old was arrested in a snooker club in Witney in the early hours of December 12 last year.

The barrister said Taylor was caught with around 1kg of cannabis in his father’s car outside, which Taylor had been driving, and a single wrap of cocaine.

Mr Holme told Judge Gordon Risius at Oxford Crown Court yesterday the total street value of the drugs seized could be as much as £15,130.

Mr Holme said charges had also been brought against the defendant’s father, Peter Taylor, but subsequently dropped.

He added that the younger Taylor had one previous conviction for a series of burglaries when he was a teenager.

Louise Culleton, defending, said her client had come under pressure to commit the crime from his father, who she said has previous convictions for drugs offences.

She also told Judge Risius that Taylor had been accepted into the Army’s Royal Engineers if he avoided a prison sentence.

Miss Culleton said he has scored excellent marks on all his entry tests and the Army had been very impressed with him.

Judge Risius said he would give Taylor “a chance” but warned him not to throw it away.

He sentenced him to a community order with 150 hours of unpaid work and told him to pay £1,500 costs and a £60 victims’ surcharge.