Police officers first spotted Christian Ellis-Leachman in Witney in September 2021 and, suspicious of what he was doing, tried to stop him.
They failed to detain him. But in his rush to get away, the then 17-year-old left his expensive rucksack. Its contents were even more valuable; an estimated £3,000-worth of cannabis and £630 in cash.
Some four months later, on January 20, he was arrested with £3,500 in cash, a small amount of cannabis and a couple of mobile phones.
Messages on the telephones linked him to the supply of cannabis.
On Friday (September 1), Oxford Crown Court heard that he had a previous conviction for being concerned in the supply of class B drugs. He was 16-years-old and the case dealt with at the youth court.
Ellis-Leachman, now 19, of Farmers Close, Witney, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
Mitigating, George Joseph said his young client – only just 18 when he was caught in 2022 – was ‘embarrassed’ to find himself in court, and ‘embarrassed to have his parents here with him today’.
The teenager was gaining qualifications to enable him to work on building sites and was supported by a number of character references that spoke of him as hardworking and keen to make amends for his offending.
Judge Maria Lamb suspended the eight month prison sentence for two years.
Referring to the character references, she said: “It is quite clear from what they say there are positive things that can be said about you.
“I hope that they mean you have turned your back on involvement with drugs.
“Knowing as you do the sort of sentences that are going to be dealt out to those who continue to supply [drugs], who continue to cause misery in other people’s lives, I hope that they will act as some kind of deterrent.
“In other words some kind of lesson, some kind of warning to you of how important it is that you start turning things around in your life and keep on the right path.”
As part of his suspended prison sentence he was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and up to 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
This content was originally published here.