A DEALER who concealed drugs down his underpants has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

Dale Reeves produced a bag of mephedrone – previously a legal high until it was re-categorised by the Government – from his underwear when police raided his Darlington home.

Officers also found cannabis with a street value of just under £600 and £795 cash after executing a warrant to search the property in Newton Lane on August 16 last year.

Prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, Jenny Haigh, said a number of texts which were discovered on the 20-year-old’s mobile phone were indicative of drug dealing.

Reeves, who admitted possession with intent to supply class B and C drugs, hoped to become a door supervisor.

Howard Pegman, mitigating, said he had foolishly embarked on the criminal enterprise to “plug the gap” after losing his benefits for three months.

He said Reeves displayed a lack of maturity.

Mr Pegman said: “This is a young man who if he can put this behind him need not trouble the courts in the future.”

Judge Guy Whitburn said he would give Reeves one chance, but “next time no question” it would be custody.

The judge said Reeves was of good character, bar a single caution. He told him: “Let this be a lesson to you.

“If you don’t learn it you will go to custody.”

Reeves received a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and will do 100 hours unpaid work. The judge said the cash seized by police would go to the prosecution costs of the case.