A Judge has let two drug-dealing students go free with only community service imposed because he was impressed by their spelling and grammar in the text messages they exchanged while making deals.
Luke Rance, 19, bought cannabis in bulk and sold it to Brandon Kerrison, 21, who was dealing it to people across the Gower, Swansea Crown Court heard.
The pair were arrested outside the city’s library on 17 December 2017 after officers smelled the drug.
Rance was found with seven bags of cannabis as well as a small amount of cocaine. Kerrison had two bags of herbal cannabis.
A subsequent search of the defendants’ bedrooms revealed a stash of cannabis worth over £1,200 in Rance’s room.
Police examined the pair’s mobile phone messages and Judge David Hale noted the perfect ‘grammar and punctuation’ was of a higher standard than normally used by dealers.
One message sent from Kerrison’s mobile to several numbers said: ‘Mad flavours from 10 tonight – let me know for more details’.
The court heard Kerrison was due to begin a construction course and Rance, who has previously acted in theatre productions, was due to begin a degree.
Both admitted possession with intent to supply and Rance also admitted possession of cocaine.
Neither had previous convictions.
Judge Hale said: ‘Cannabis may be an experiment that you find pleasurable,’ but warned the pair of the risks involved.
He also noted that a delay in the case being brought to court did not do much credit to the legal system, but suggested it had provided more time for the pair to prove since their arrest they were able to stay out of trouble.
He said he did not want to send either of them to jail, but warned: ‘I hope a court never sees either of you again.’
He said Rance seemed to have got involved with ‘ne’er-do-wells in Liverpool’ with his cannabis-buying activities while Kerrison had set himself up as dealer for people in the local community.
Judge Hale said he did not want to fetter the prospects of the young men with custodial sentences and imposed on each a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.
In addition, Kerrison will have to complete a rehabilitation programme.