A pair of drug dealers walked free from court three years after they were caught selling cannabis twice within a matter of weeks.

Jack Doyle and Rebecca Johnson were initially caught with more than ten grams of cocaine, 600g of cannabis and £1,570 in cash when the house they shared in Darlington was raided by police in March 2021.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said their home was raided again on May 20 and 170grammes of cannabis was recovered alongside £2,230 in cash and a small amount of cocaine.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Doyle played a leading role in the enterprise while Johnson was described as vulnerable.

Mr Pettengell said drugs paraphernalia was recovered from the house on Haughton Road including five mobile phones and a quantity of zip lock bags.

The court heard how both defendants had a previous conviction connected to growing cannabis.

Doyle, 25, now of Hilda Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, two charges of possession with intent to supply cannabis, and two charges of possession of criminal property.

Jonathan Walker, mitigating, said his client had taken steps to address his drug problem and had been working well with the probation service.

Johnson, now of Thompson Street West, Darlington, pleaded guilty to the same five charges.

Paul Abrahams, representing the 25-year-old, said his client was a vulnerable woman who had struggled to deal with the court case hanging over her head.

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Recorder Bryan Cox KC sentenced Doyle to 12 months suspended for two years and ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and take part in a six-month drug treatment programme.

He added: “This is a chance to get yourself sorted out, put the drugs behind you and put your life on a proper footing.”

Sentencing Johnson to a two-year community order with mental health and drug treatment attachments, the judge added: “I accept that you had a lesser role in this but you must appreciate that if you get involved in drug dealing there is a risk of going to prison.

“It’s important that you stay away from drug dealing.”