A CANNABIS dealer who made thousands of pounds profit by selling the drug to his friends has been jailed.

Police targeting drink-drivers on Water End, York, caught Matthew Anthony Dolling, 29, said Rob Galley, prosecuting.

Dolling passed a breath test, but the officers smelt the 27g of cannabis he had hidden in his car, found it, and arrested him on drug charges.

Dolling had made £4,000 to £5,000 by dealing in cannabis for four to six months.

Dolling, of Dringfield Close in Dringhouses, York, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply it and failure to answer bail at Fulford Road Police Station.

His barrister Nicholas Barker urged Judge Jacqueline Davies to suspend his prison sentence because the cannabis sales had only been to friends and his partner was due to give birth to their child in May.

"He didn't set up shop on the street corner for all comers," said Mr Barker.

But the judge told York Crown Court: "He was making money, he wasn't sharing it, he was making a profit."

She jailed Dolling for nine months. He had previously received a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months for producing cannabis and during the suspension period been caught with more cannabis, scales, £230 in cash and a taser gun.

Sentencing him for those offences, Judge Scott Wolstenholme said in 2012 his actions were a "calculated defiance of the law", but gave him a second suspended sentence of 18 weeks suspended for 12 months.

Mr Barker said Dolling had stopped using cannabis after the suspended sentences were passed, but had started taking it again for pain relief following an injury. That had led to him running up cannabis debts and he had started selling to fund his own habit.

Mr Galley said officers stopped Dolling on Water End because he was driving too fast. The skunk cannabis in his car could have fetched £280 if sold in street deals. Officers found drug debts lists indicating people owed him more than £3,000 and he himself had debts. They also found messages from would-be cannabis users on his mobile phone which Dolling had initially claimed were about tobacco sales.