A DRUG dealer who got himself into trouble by telling the police he was selling cannabis to around 100 people has avoided jail.

Trystan Marshall, 23, of Wylye Road, Tidworth, revealed to officers that drug users contacted him through Snapchat and Facebook for the class B drug – despite police not knowing that he was dealing.

Officers found more than 20 bags of cannabis and herbal cannabis, along with scales and a grinder at a flat belonging to Marshall’s former co-defendant Martin Babey.

Marshall then told police that messages on his phone were regarding the dealing of cannabis to people in the area.

Salisbury Crown Court heard on Thursday that police executed a warrant on a flat where Marshall and his sister lived and immediately noticed the strong smell of cannabis.

Prosecuting, Anthony Bailey said: “The defendant was not there, he was upstairs in the flat rented by Martin Babey.

“Police went upstairs and knocked on the door and it was opened by the defendant. When police entered the flat Martin Babey was by the window and was about to close the curtains.”

Police then searched the flat and found a dealers' list written on an envelope addressed to Babey, and later discovered a bin liner full of cannabis which had been dropped out of the window. They also found more than £500 in cash.

Babey was handed a £230 fine at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court on September 1 for admitting to possessing a class B drug.

“Having been arrested the defendant [Marshall] gave a somewhat guarded interview. In the course of that the police said that they had interrogated his phone," Mr Bailey added.

Officers said that on Marshall’s phone there were messages which indicated that he was dealing but it was not until he admitted it that police realised to the extent of his activity.

The court heard that Marshall dealt to fund his own £40 a day cannabis habit.

Defending, Adam Norris said: “It is his own admissions in interview which have largely led to this.”

Marshall, who currently works as a removal man, was in custody since October 12 after failing to turn up for probation meetings but has since completed a number of courses.

Marshall admitted possessing with intent to supply at an earlier hearing, and was handed an eight-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 100 hours' unpaid work.

Judge Susan Evans QC said Marshall had made “substantial admissions” to police, adding: “You admitted to dealing with up to 100 people which is extremely serious – you would buy an amount and sell it to fund your own habit.”