TWO drug dealers who were caught in an undercover police operation have been spared immediate jail sentences.

Shaun Kearsley and Paul Grimshaw were each given sentences of 20 months in jail, suspended for two years, at Bolton Crown Court.

Both had pleaded guilty to supplying heroin and cocaine on July 10 last year and Kearsley additionally admitted possession of amphetamine and cannabis on December 11.

Andrew Macintosh, prosecuting told the court how undercover officers working on Operation Maxima, an operation designed to cut down on drug dealing in Bolton, called a telephone number to order cocaine and heroin.

They were told to go to a location near a boxing club in Farnworth where a car drove up beside them, with 42-year-old Grimshaw at the wheel and Kearsley inside the vehicle.

The officers purchased two wraps of heroin and one of cocaine for £35.

Grimshaw, of Darlington Street, Tyldesley, and Kearsley, aged 42, of Castle Street, Tyldesley, were later arrested.

Andrew Costello, defending, said Kearsley had bought drugs for himself on July 10 then got a call from his dealer asking him to make a delivery to another customer.

“This was not a planned venture. He was not out that day knowing he was going to be involved in dealing,” he said.

Nicholas Ross, defending Grimshaw, said he did not handle the drugs or the money but admitted he was driving the car.

The father-of-four was a heroin user himself but is now training to be a counsellor.

Sentencing the men Judge Knopf said, in the absence of any other evidence, he accepted that the day they sold the drugs to the officers was a one-off occasion.

“The particular circumstances of this event mean it is an unusual scenario and an exceptional course can be adopted in dealing with you,” he told them.

In addition to the suspended prison sentences Kearsley and Grimshaw will be subject to supervision for 12 months and have to undergo a thinking skills programme.

Grimshaw will also be subject to an electronically tagged curfew from 8pm to 6am for four months.