TWO drug dealers who went into a “business partnership” by starting to traffic cannabis have narrowly avoided going straight to jail.

Ciaran Wall, 22, and Macauley Griffiths, 25, both from Pontypool, were spared immediate custody after Cardiff Crown Court heard they had no previous convictions.

James Evans, prosecuting, said the duo were moving low quantities of the class B drug before they were caught by the police last year.

He added: “In a text one of them describes the other as his business partner.”

Wall, of Pentwyn Road, Pentwyn, and Griffiths, of Snatchwood Road, Pontnewynydd, both admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

The offences were committed in April 2020.

Scott Bowen, representing Wall, said his client’s offending had been “unsophisticated”.

His barrister asked for the defendant’s young age and lack of any previous convictions to be taken into account.

Ben Waters, mitigating for Griffiths, said: “He is a man of a hitherto clean character and this is the first time he appears before a criminal court.”

His lawyer added how the defendant had turned to dealing after building up a cannabis debt and had lost his job at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mr Waters told the court: “This is not a case where he was living a lavish lifestyle and there were no trappings of wealth.”

Griffiths had now found “stable employment”, he said.

Judge Michael Fitton QC told the defendants their offences were so serious that they had to be marked with a prison sentence.

But, he added, he was able to suspend them because of their previous good character and young age.

He jailed both defendants for six months, suspended for 12 months.

He ordered them to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work and they must each pay £250 costs and a £120 victim surcharge by December 1.