Callum Rhys Hughes was caught with a stash of cocaine in a Swansea nightclub but no money and when asked where his takings for the evening were he said: “Business is slow.”
Following his arrest the student was then subjected to routine urine tests by his father in a bid to keep him on the straight and narrow.
Swansea Crown Court heard that in June last year security staff at the city’s Sin City club became suspicious of Hughes’ behaviour.
Tom Scapens, prosecuting, said when the defendant was searched he was found to have 20 wraps of cocaine and one of ketamine in the back pocket of his jeans.
Police were called and the defendant’s mobile phone was seized and his house searched.
Nothing was found at his home address but an examination of the mobile revealed two deleted text messages relating to dealing, including one bulk text the defendant had sent to 21 contacts.
In his subsequent interview Hughes told officers he had been selling cocaine friends and associates “for a couple of months” to make extra money and to fund his own use of the drug.
He said he contacted customers using Snapchat and accepted payment in cash, bank transfers, or by PayPal.
Hughes, aged 19, of Cilonnen Road, Three Crosses, Gower , admitted possession of cocaine with intent to supply and possession of ketamine. The court heard he has no previous convictions.
David Singh, for Hughes, said following the defendant’s arrest his father had bought drug kits online and the teenager had been made to take two twice-weekly urine tests at home. The defendant has also been voluntarily attending the drugs agency Dyfodol.
The barrister said the defendant was a young man of previous good character who provided a high degree of support for his seriously ill father who had made, on his own acceptance, “a terrible error of judgement” in becoming involved in drugs.
He invited the court to take the “wholly exceptional” course of not imposing immediate custody.
Judge Paul Thomas QC told the defendant it was a “very difficult” case to sentence given his personal and family circumstances.
He said given the defendant’s age, his lack of previous convictions, his caring responsibilities, his voluntary attendance at Dyfodol, and the guidelines on suspended sentences he was prepared not to send the defendant straight to prison.
Hughes was sentenced to two years suspended for two years and must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, a rehabilitation course, and a six-month drug referral requirement.