West Yorkshire Police found cannabis hidden in rabbit hutch when they searched drug dealer's home

Police found cannabis stashed in a rabbit hutch when they raided a drug dealer's home.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 6:00 am

Officers also found counterfeit bank notes when they searched Michael Ryan's home in Outwood, Wakefield.

Felicity Hemlin, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court that police used a warrant to gain access to Ryan's home on Princess Street on August 30, 2019.

They recovered cocaine, £491 in cash, a small cannabis plant and a quantity of the class B drug.

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Leeds Crown Court

Dealer bags and counterfeit money were found under his bed.

A further amount of cannabis was found stored in the rabbit hutch in the back yard.

The total street value of the cannabis was £1,220.

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Ryan, 39, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of cocaine.

Ryan has 23 previous convictions for 50 offences, including possession of drugs and drug dealing.

The court was told that he had been battling drug addiction himself, but was seeking help from the Wakefield-based support group, Talking Point.

Stephen Welford, mitigating, said: "He needs to be punished, but needs assistance and there's real prospect for rehabilitation."

Mr Welford said Ryan is a carer for his 13-year-old daughter.

Ryan was given a 12-month jail term, suspended for 24 months, plus 160 hours of unpaid work.

Read more: Thug threatened to slit woman's throat with knife during neighbour dispute on Leeds streetJudge Simon Batiste warned him that he had come very close to going directly to jail, and it was only his duty to his daughter that had saved him.

He said: "Given your record you should be aware that it was my intention today to lock you up.

"You thoroughly deserve to be locked up, but I'm going to give you one last chance, and one chance only.

"Do not throw it back in my face. You are absolutely in the last chance saloon."