A CANNABIS dealer has been told he will be released from prison in time to start a college course this September.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Liam Clare, aged 23, of Spinning Meadows, Halliwell, was stopped in Bolton town centre on the evening of November 3, last year, by police who mistook him for someone else.

But officers smelled cannabis inside his car and found six large bags of the plant with a street value of £4,000 in a holdall on the back seat and a further search found snap bags, mobile phones and £570 cash in a glove box.

He was arrested and bailed, but in February this year police raided his home and found a debtors list, £614 and, in a car, plastic bags containing more cannabis valued at £1,200.

Clare pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

Nicholas Ross, defending said Clare had begun using cannabis himself aged 15 and had got into debt with his dealers, turning to dealing himself in order to pay off what he owed.

Mr Ross said: “This is a classic case of a drugs user and things getting out of hand.”

He added that Clare, a father-of-one, has now had his debt settled by his hairdresser partner.

Recorder Simon Killeen sentenced Clare to 10 months in jail, but told him he will be released in time to start a new life as a college student later this year.