A DRUG dealer returned to his criminal ways to fund his cocaine addiction - just months after he was spared jail.

John Gough has been jailed for 16 months for possessing more than 800 grams of cannabis, and £2,000 in drug money which was stashed in a safe.

Police raided the 25-year-old’s home in Delaware Road, Southend on February 6 this year.

The officers forced entry into a garden shed, which had it’s door blocked by a wardrobe.

In this wardrobe and elsewhere in the shed were several bags of cannabis, which weighed a total of 807.2 grams.

Inside the home, a safe was found which had £2,000 inside, later found to be proceeds made from selling cannabis.

Gough was not at home during the raid, but police returned a few days later and found him, and he was arrested.

He remained silent throughout his police interview, but later went on to admit possession with intent to supply cannabis and possessing criminal property.

He was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court yesterday.

The court was told Gough had been given a suspended prison sentence in July last year, and he had reoffended nine months into that sentence.

Mitigating, Chris Whitcombe said: “He said his cocaine use spiralled, and he was spending a lot of money.

“He was not able to fund his drug habits, and he went back to what he knew best, to deal drugs, to fund his habit.

“He was motivated by financial advantage.

“This is the first time he has been in custody, he describes it bluntly as horrible, and immediately registered for courses and programmes.

“He realised he needed to obtain skills and though he would teach himself computing.”

Judge John Lodge told Gough: “In July last year you received a suspended sentence for drug dealing. You were told if you did it again the suspended sentence would be implemented.

“They have to be, that’s how the suspended sentences work.”

Judge Lodge gave Gough 16 months in prison, ten months for the new offences and six months for his suspended sentence breach.