A SHOPPER alerted police after spotting what appeared to be drug dealing in Weymouth town centre in broad daylight, a court heard.

Sam Johnson, 21, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, supplying cocaine and possessing cocaine with intent to supply at Dorchester Crown Court.

Prosecuting, Carolyn Branford-Wood told the court that Johnson had been in the town with friends on September 14 last year when the group stopped near St Nicholas Street.

She said: “A member of the public alerted police when she saw a man who seemed to have a small plastic bag with white powder.

“She says the man acted in a way that raised her suspicions that he was dealing drugs.”

Minutes later, police officers arrested and searched the defendant in New Bond Street, and discovered bags containing white powder in his socks.

Herbal cannabis was found in a subsequent search of Johnson’s home.

The cocaine was worth around £320 at street value, Miss Branford-Wood told the court.

In mitigation, Jamie Porter said Johnson, of Willowdene Close, New Milton, Hampshire, had admitted the charges on the basis that he had given the cocaine to a friend who had asked for drugs, and that no cash transaction had taken place.

He added: “He got himself into a complete mess but he has now extricated himself from that.

“He has put himself into other activities which give him friends who are not involved with drugs.

“There’s every reason to suspect this young man will not go near this sort of behaviour again.”

Judge Roger Jarvis said: “It is quite clear that since this matter has come to light you have taken very considerable steps to address your drug-abusing behaviour. You are a very hard-working young man.”

He sentenced him to a community order with a requirement to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work, to be completed in part at an employment and education unit.

He said: “I hope that the court does not ever see you again because if it does the prospect is a lengthy period of imprisonment.”